Advocacy & Awareness

Inclusivity in Mental Health Research Can’t Happen Without Me and You

As the co-president of Active Minds at Vanderbilt University, a student studying psychology and public health, and as an Asian American woman, I’ve seen first-hand the effects that a lack of inclusive mental health support and resources can have on a community. It’s detrimental to not only those who are under-represented but to everyone existing…

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Managing Financial Stress: Tips for College Students

“Once I get more money, I’ll be able to afford the laptop I need. I’ll be able to pay off my student loans. Maybe I’ll be able to take a week off.” Despite it still being relatively taboo to discuss, money is a driving factor in our lives. It can dominate our thoughts, and lead…

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Five Tips for Coping with Climate Anxiety

More and more, we are seeing recent global and national climate disasters affect communities and individuals. From the most recent hurricanes, to the wildfires in California, and flooding in Pakistan, we are aware of the impact on mental health that these disasters can have. Whatever you are feeling because of these events is okay, and…

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The Importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in Mental Health

Two of the things I am most passionate about are mental health advocacy and LGBTQ+ rights. Both of these are parts of my identity I hold dear to my heart, and I believe that for me at least, they are extremely connected. Discovering my sexuality was a journey, like it is for many people, with…

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How to Start Conversations About Mental Health on Reservations

When I was younger, I believed mental health was exclusive. Only those with severe, visible problems have mental health needs. Only later did I learn that everyone has mental health, and unfortunately, many of us will have to navigate the negative side of it. It is only human, right? When my Mvskoke mother was a…

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Mental Health Myths Debunked

As we kick off Mental Illness Awareness Week, you may be hearing more about mental health on social media, in the news, and among your friends and family, including various types of mental illnesses. This can unfortunately often include some of the many misconceptions related to mental health that persist in our society. As we…

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Sharing Hope During Suicide Prevention Month

Content Warning: Mention of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. The world needs you here because…well, why? For those living with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health disorders, the answer can sometimes feel unclear. And in a time when racism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism, and ableism continue to persist, I know firsthand how hard it can…

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Claiming Space: Mental Health in the Bisexual Community

Content Warning: This piece contains mentions of suicidal ideation, religious trauma, and homophobia. I noticed from a young age that I was interested in both sexes. As a kid, I went to a private Catholic school from kindergarten through fifth grade before then attending a public middle school. I remember being preached to in second…

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The Importance of Saying “The World Needs You Here”

Content Warning: This piece contains mentions of suicide. One of the hardest and most impactful elements of my role with Active Minds is the opportunity to spend time with the families and loved ones of those who have been lost to suicide. Despite the unfortunate circumstances under which we get to know each other, it’s…

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Meet the Fall 2022 Mental Health Advocacy Academy Class

Today marks the beginning of the second year of our Mental Health Advocacy Academy. The Academy is a unique leadership opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) high school students to create change in their schools and communities. Our 2022 youth advocates (listed below) will…

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