Active Minds holds events throughout the year on campus to encourage discussion about mental health and stamp out stigma. We aim to make the campus a safe and inclusive space that is open to conversation and acceptance of all students.
Stress Less Events
Throughout the school year, we often provide opportunities for students to take a break from their hectic schedules and academic pressure with activities like mug or pumpkin decorating and food like coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies. These are also fantastic opportunities to learn more about stress and ways to manage it appropriately through informative self-care tips and fliers!
Mental Illness Awareness Week / World Mental Health Day
Mental Illness Awareness Week is the first full week of October every year, and World Mental Health Day is October 10th. During this week, Active Minds and other UNC mental health awareness organizations plan events and guest speakers to bring attention to the need for education, understanding, and dialogue surrounding mental illnesses. On World Mental Health Day, Active Minds participates in the Health Fair run by the School of Psychiatry at UNC Hospitals, providing resources and information about mental illnesses, how to get help, and how to help others.
Depression Awareness Week
Depression Awareness Week takes place during the month of October as part of National Depression Awareness Month. This event includes activities that take place each day throughout the week. Activities include trivia games where participants can learn more about depression and ways to effectively care for it, signing posters to show support for those who suffer with depression, as well as a photo campaign to show support. In the past, this event has included handing out green ribbons to show support and spread awareness about depression and has been sponsored by Insomnia Cookies.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW)
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week occurs in the last week of February. For this week we work to promote awareness for all types of eating disorders, their symptoms, and how to talk with someone who has an eating disorder. We also provide resources for those dealing with these issues. NEDAW is a collaboration of numerous campus organizations, including Embody Carolina, Rethink: Psychiatric Illness, NAMI at UNC, Mental Health Ambassadors, the Mental Health Task Force, Student Wellness, and Active Minds at Carolina to educate the Carolina community on the prevalence, severity, and stigma of eating disorders among college students. Discussions focus on debunking myths and opening dialogues about mental and physical health on campus.
Annual Mental Health Carnival
The Mental Health Carnival is an event that takes place during the Spring semester in conjunction with multiple mental health organizations on campus. It provides students with an opportunity to participate in mental health related games, enjoy performances from various musical and dance groups, and enjoy other carnival-related activities all while learning about mental health. In the past this event has included activities such as a ball pit, cotton candy machine, corn hole, a popcorn machine, pizza, and Insomnia Cookies. This event is a great way to learn more about mental health in fun and interactive way.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Day
Suicide Prevention Awareness Day serves as an opportunity to unite, remember, and reflect on the lives of those lost to mental illness. At this gathering, Active Minds and other mental health student groups gather to highlight the prevalence of suicidal ideations and attempts among college students. We also offer information regarding what friends and family members can do if they suspect that a loved one is considering suicide. We end the event by distributing balloons to participants and allowing them to write a message of their choice. Some write the names of loved ones, while others reference their own past and present struggles. As guests release their balloons, they are able to symbolically turn a page and begin moving forward.
Send Silence Packing
Send Silence Packing is part of a larger national campaign to highlight the prevalence of suicide on college campuses. During this event, 1,100 backpacks were publicly displayed to symbolize the college students lost to suicide each year. Current estimates suggest that approximately 90% of deaths by suicide can be attributed to mental illness, and thus it is our hope that by starting conversations on suicide and mental illness on campus, more students feel able to seek potentially life-saving medical and psychological treatment.