Active Minds: New Club

Anna Reinhart, Opinion Editor

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“Nothing like this exists here,” Dana Melone, AP teacher at Kennedy High School, said. Active Minds is a new club to Kennedy that she is hoping will help Kennedy become more educated and better suited to help someone with a mental illness.

Active Minds is the national leading non profit that encourages students to speak up about mental health and change the conversation students have about mental health. The organization is stationed at several universities and high schools across the country including The University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

“The purpose is to reduce the stigma of mental illness and bridge the gap between people who are struggling and the services in their area,” Melone said.

Active Minds brings a new angle and concept for students to think about when it comes to mental illness.

“People need to know that it’s okay to not be okay, and most people in their lifetime, at some point, will struggle with a mental illness, even if it’s not long term,” Melone said. Talking about mental illness doesn’t penetrate mental illness or make it happen more often, which is the number one most common misconception about mental illness according to Active Minds.

Changing the conversation at Kennedy could be sparked by awareness days to make students aware that having a mental illness isn’t uncommon. Unfortunately 45% of mental illnesses go untreated, Active Minds is working to decrease the number of students that carry mental illness without getting help.

“Many people go about their day seeming like nothing is wrong with them, and they are struggling,” Melone said. “I think that if people know that there is help available and there are people they can talk to, it will help them.”

Members of Active Minds cannot provide a service, but the club will most certainly be able to let those struggling know what options are available and open to them.

If you would like to be a part of Active Minds at Kennedy, you can sign up with Mrs. Melone in room 107 to sign up. The next meeting will be held in her room Next Thursday, Sept. 28.

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