Eric Willner ('11) from Active Minds at Bucknell says:
"My first experience with mental illness occurred when my best friend came home after his first semester at college. He was reluctant to tell me what was troubling him, but eventually revealed to me that he had been having occasional suicidal thoughts. When he told me, I was shocked but thankful that he had been aware that something wasn't right. I was relieved that he was comfortable enough with me to express his suffering. He began receiving counseling immediately and is thankfully well on his way to recovery. I began to think about what could have happened to him had he not been secure enough to express his pain to anyone.
When I came back to Bucknell the following spring, I felt that exposure to to our talented campus psychologists was rather limited. With the help of Psychological Services on our campus, Active Minds at Bucknell University began in the spring of 2008. We have held events each semester since our inception and our student body has reached out to our campus psychologists in higher numbers than ever before. The influx of students requesting appointments was so high in fall 2008 that Psych Services could not accommodate student demand.
The club had done a great job of spreading the word about mental illness, but did not want to stop there. When we got word of the inability to serve every student requesting counseling, the group decided that we needed to facilitate change. In spring 2009, we began by contacting our advisor and the head of Psych Services, and after a meeting with the parents' board and a letter to our provost, Psych Services received approval to hire one more full-time psychologist as well as an additional part-time psychologist for the fall of 2009.
Active Minds has been much more than just another club for me, it has taught me that a small group of people can work together and have a significant impact on the well-being of many others."