It’s 2018 Stigmafighters! We hope Fall quarter treated you well, and that you’re all settled in for the next two quarters to come! We have exciting things planned for Active Minds these next few months. But first, let’s take a look at everything we did this quarter!
The quarter started with an awesome opportunity to be a part of the 13 Reasons Why program in which actor Justin Prentice and Alisha Boe discussed the negative and positive aspects to the way the show addressed various mental health issues. As Active Minds, we were there to answer any questions and provide resources to the UCLA community. We also joined the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at the Santa Monica Out of the Darkness Walk to provide further resources and support to the Los Angeles community, a touching way to begin the year!
As the quarter unravelled and our new members joined us after the wonderful committee sorting night put on by our membership committee, we got to know each other at the pumpkin painting social in October, lots of snacks and a relaxing way to escape midterms for a few hours!
Another highlight of the quarter was the amazing Mental Health Fair put on by the Events Committee. As students walked through Bruin Walk on their way to class, they stopped to play carnival games designed to educate students about various mental health topics, grab some mental health resources, and bond with fellow UCLA students. Many students took a minute to take a picture in our self-care themed photo frame, and we all know self care is always a good look!
During November, we joined The Dashew Center and developed the event Bruin Resilience: Wellness Social for International Students to welcome our fellow international students to campus in hope that they could feel more at home here at UCLA. There were insightful comments made by the international student panel and allowed for students to discuss needs within the international student community, network and make new friends, and be able to address their mental health experiences to a community. In addition, our executive director was featured in a Bruin Family Insights webinar with Counseling and Psychological Services executive director Dr. Nicole Green organized by the UCLA Parent & Family Programs. The webinar was titled Bruin Family Insights - Addressing Mental Health & Wellness and provided Bruin Families an opportunity to understand how the pressures of college influence student mental health. Families were able to learn to recognize signs of distress and mental health concerns in their student and learn strategies for helping students cope with these issues. Active Minds was able to offer the student perspective while Dr. Green offered a clinical perspective, fostering an important conversation surrounding student mental health.
Our last big event of the quarter was Diversity and Depression put on by the wonderful Education Committee. This event brought together people from all walks of life and explained that we are one and not the same. It was an important way to express that it doesn’t matter and will never matter what your background is, you can struggle with depression, or any other mental illness for that matter, it has nothing to do with your identity.
We were lucky enough to be able to end the quarter with two inspiring guest speakers. First we had Guillermo Ojeda, a graduate student at the Luskin School of Public Affairs who informed us about his experience pursuing a mental health related career within the public affairs field. Furthermore, Active Minds is very excited to be working with him in the following quarters to develop the undergraduate to graduate mentorship program. During week 9 we had the lovely UCLA alumni, Jo Pessin treat us with great mindfulness activities, which proved to be great way to start the finals buzz. We are so grateful for the opportunity to have heard such a variety of mental health related themes throughout the quarter.
To conclude the quarter on a great note we collaborated with the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital located next to the Ronald Reagan Hospital for a donation drive. Students came together to collect dozens of goods for the patients and they were delivered to the hospital before the holidays. We’d like to thank everyone who donated for their generosity.
We hope all of you have found a community here within Active Minds, as we are so pleased that you are all here and look forward to the things ahead. Next quarter, our committees have some exciting events, networking nights, and workshops planned.
Always remember each quarter has its ups and downs, and the Active Minds family will be here through it all. Find some time for self care even when classes seem like they are starting to crack down on you, because you are important. Thanks for all your hard work fighting the mental health stigma this quarter, and we look forward to continuing the fight in Winter quarter!
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