January 11, 2010 – Active Minds announced today that the organization has acquired the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign’s renowned speakers bureau, The Heard.
The National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NMHAC) was launched as part of the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health and has reached millions of individuals with mental health education. The Heard was the first speakers bureau in the country devoted to removing the stigma surrounding mental illness and raising mental health awareness among high school and college students. With NMHAC closing its doors in 2010, Active Minds, Inc. has taken over the day-to-day operation of The Heard.
“It has been very rewarding to be part of the development of a remarkable national speakers bureau which, under the leadership of Ross Szabo, has brought the message of mental health to young people throughout the country,” said Gail Kamer Lieberfarb, board chair and executive director of NMHAC. “I can think of no better new home for The Heard than Active Minds to expand our outreach and to continue positively impacting the dialogue among young people so that stigma is erased.”
Research has shown that many young adults face mental health challenges, and the average age of onset for most major mental health disorders is during adolescence. The speakers bureau will help Active Minds continue to provide positive examples of young adults who have dealt with mental health disorders so all students understand that they can talk about whatever is troubling them.
“Many young people are afraid to talk about mental health,” said Vince Day, chairman of the board of directors of Active Minds, Inc. “Across the country, our college chapters work to change that by educating students about the facts rather than the myths, and by creating an open dialogue. Sharing personal stories is one of the most powerful ways to reach students, making the speakers bureau a perfect addition to help Active Minds further our work in changing the conversation about mental health.”
Jordan Burnham, Lizzie Simon, Anna Arroyo, and Colleen Coffey will continue speaking with The Heard and will be joined by new speakers who will be announced later this month.
Active Minds, Inc. is the leading voice in college student mental health. On more than 240 campuses, with thousands of student leaders and advocates working diligently to raise awareness and promote mental health, Active Minds reaches young people through programming that decreases stigma, brings about awareness, and ultimately creates a positive and accepting environment for the discussion of mental health issues on campuses.