Mental Health Leaders and Celebrities Unite for Active Minds on Campus Spring Event

Special guests to April 28 event include Rep. Grace Napolitano, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of National Institute of Mental Health, and Shawn Andrews, offensive guard for the Philadelphia Eagles

Washington, D.C. (April 13, 2009) – Active Minds, a non-profit organization that promotes mental health and wellness for college students in North America, announces that special guests Rep. Grace Napolitano, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Shawn Andrews of the Philadelphia Eagles have been confirmed to speak at their “Spring Break-the-Silence” reception and fundraiser to be held on April 28, 2009 in at the Google Offices in Washington, DC. This five year celebration highlights the promising programs and impending legislation that support the mental health of American college students. The Active Minds spring event coincides with the introduction of Senator Richard Durbin’s “Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act” (S. 682), as well as Active Minds’ National Stress Out Day.

“We are thrilled that these incredible leaders will be joining us for this celebration of our first five years of monumental work, and honored that they will be lending their time and voice to our cause” said Active Minds founder and Executive Director Alison Malmon. “Each of our guests comes to this cause for a different reason, but all see the importance of the work Active Minds is doing to effectively support college students in need.”

In 2008, the American College Health Association reported that:

  • 46% of the college students surveyed stated that they felt so depressed it was difficult for them to function.
  • 53% of students felt things were hopeless in the past year.

In addition, there are more than 1,100 college student deaths by suicide every year, making suicide the second leading cause of death for college students.

“Every once in a while an issue comes along that is too important to keep quiet about. I’m excited to partner with Active Minds and help in their efforts to support college student mental health. It is truly an honor to be their guest at their April Spring Break-the-Silence celebration,” said Shawn Andrews, offensive guard and two-time Pro Bowler for the Philadelphia Eagles. “It’s important to me to lead by example, and what I do off of the field is just as important as what I do on it. I want to show young adults that mental illness doesn’t have to keep you from realizing your dreams and that help is out there. ”

*Media are invited to attend the event for free, but are required to pre-register.  Please contact Heather Smith if you would like to attend.*

About Active Minds

Active Minds is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to broadcasting the student voice to educate college students about mental health. On nearly two hundred campuses, with thousands of student leaders and advocates working diligently to raise awareness and promote mental health, Active Minds is reaching students through the implementation of turn-key programs that decrease stigma, bring about awareness, and ultimately create positive and accepting environment for the discussion of mental health issues.

As liaisons between their peers and college counseling centers and the mental health community, Active Minds’ student leaders provide information about available resources on-campus, online and in the community, educate students about mental health and mental illnesses, host events to raise awareness, and encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed. Active Minds chapters and volunteer student members work to shine a positive light on mental wellness, and create an accepting environment where each student has the capabilities and support to thrive.