All About the Active Minds National Conference, From an Active Minds Student

Kelsey Pacetti
Kelsey Pacetti

If you’re looking for a weekend of inspiration, education, and hope then you don’t want to miss the 2022 Active Minds National Conference this February. Being surrounded by over 600 students, chapter advisors, professionals, and advocates helped me feel less alone and helped me realize how much bigger our mission is and the impact we are all creating. It’s truly life-changing. But, in case you’re still on the fence about attending, here are the five the things I’m most excited about for this year’s conference:

  • Meeting and learning from mental health advocates. From singing with Kai Roberts to telling our secrets with Frank Warren, the days were packed with fun. There was time to hear from multiple Active Minds Speakers and even opportunities to meet influential people in the mental health field like John Draper (from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), Sam Brinton (from The Trevor Project), and even Zachary Levi (yes, Flynn Rider from Disney’s “Tangled”, who is also a mental health advocate).
  • Attending breakout sessions that impacted my own chapter. The student-led roundtable session was my favorite opportunity to engage with chapter leaders from across the country because it allowed me to receive tips for my own chapter’s improvement. There were also plenty of programming events where I found engaging activity and event ideas that I can now say I have used at UW-Whitewater. During the Here to Stay: Mental Health in the Post-2020 Culture conference, I found myself screaming at my TV “I AM ENOUGH” during Ivy Watts’s session. I had never been more focused during a Zoom call – you really will not want to miss these sessions.
  • Discovering how I can be involved with Active Minds and the mental health field. The Active Minds National Conference is where I first learned about the Active Minds Student Advisory Committee, a leadership opportunity that I now take part in and love. Through attending the conference, I got to learn more about what my fellow students were doing as mental health advocates, and discover new ways I could become involved.
  • Getting exclusive access to keynotes, presentations, and more. From Alyssa Milano to Justin Bieber, Active Minds always brings amazing speakers to share their stories of mental health and inspire the attendees to continue their own advocacy. One of the best experiences I’ve had at Conference was by far meeting and hearing from Active Minds’ founder, Alison Malmon. Alison’s hard work made it so that I can have a safe space to talk about mental health. Through her passion and caring heart we now have an incredible non-profit that has inspired me beyond words.
  • Seeing all of you! There’s nothing like being gathered together with hundreds of teens, young adults, students, and workplace professionals who all share one thing in common: they care about mental health. While we stay connected throughout the year virtually, having the ability to come together in-person, share our successes, discuss our future goals, and cheer each other on is unparalleled. I sincerely hope you’ll join us – we want you there!

The connections built, the vulnerability shown, and the insights shared are something I will carry with me throughout my advocacy work forever. With the conference back in-person this year, I can only imagine the amazing content that Active Minds has planned for us. Each day I keep refreshing the agenda to see which speakers and sessions will be offered. I am looking forward to engaging discussions, meeting new people who share my same passions, creating memories, learning, and amplifying mental health in our culture. So what are you waiting for? Come Turn it Up in Washington D.C. this February! You won’t want to miss it.