Club Works to Cure Stigma

NAMI San Joaquin club welcomes students to get information regarding mental health. PHOTO BY VIVIENNE AGUILAR
NAMI San Joaquin club welcomes students to get information regarding mental health. PHOTO BY VIVIENNE AGUILAR

After the “Break the Silence” presentation in May of this year, a collection of stories from Delta students struggling with mental health problems,  Delta students felt there was a need to be a club dedicated to long term mental health awareness. 

While a junior at University of Pennsylvania, Alison Malmon of Boulder, Colorado, founded Active Minds in 2003 after she lost her brother to suicide. The club minds has expanded to more than 450 United States chapters.  

On Sept. 12, Delta students came together to present the Active Minds Club on campus. 

During the second Delta meeting, club members laid out plans to introduce students to Active Minds and to provide up-to-date mental health resources and information. 

Rajah Wilkerson,president of the Delta Active Minds Chapter, said she felt a need to have a club such as Active Minds to make a difference for those struggling with mental health issues.

“I joined Active Minds because it is a new club, and I always felt like I needed something like it in my life,” said Wilkerson. 

Active Minds works with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to teach students to identify and respond to mental health problems. 

The club makes it clear its members aren’t medically certified, and therefore don’t provide counseling services.

“Mental health is something everyone deals with,” Wilkerson said. “There is a need for us to talk about mental health.”

 Wilkerson urged student struggling with mental health problems to  “talk with themselves, ask themselves what they want to do. Be brave Be vulnerable. Be you.” 

Delta College counselor Heather Bradford, who works along side students coping with mental health issues is helping the club. 

“From my many years of counseling at Delta College, I could see the tremendous need for more awareness, support and advocacy for those living with mental health challenges,” Bradford said. 

Students can help spread awareness by removing its stigma.

“Stigma is the greatest barrier for breaking the silence and allowing individuals to be open and seek help for their mental health struggles. Being an advocate by refusing to stigmatize mental illness is a huge step in spreading awareness,” said Bradford.

Active Minds meets 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in  Shima 146.