In 2012, Nursing student Sarah Berendt established the Lourdes University chapter of Active Minds, a non-profit association dedicated to being the voice of young adult mental health advocacy nationwide.
A courageous young woman, Sarah started Active Minds because she has Bipolar Disorder and wanted to use her experiences to create a positive and stigma-free environment for others who may also be suffering from forms of mental illness.
"It has turned into so much more than just erasing social stigma. We are impacting so many more people than I thought we ever could. However, I don't want my goal of changing the conversation about mental health to get lost in the excitement of everything else that we do.
Having a mental illness myself, I understand the difficulty that can come with being in college. The goal of Active Minds is to show students that it is ok to take care of your mental health, to talk about it and also that it is ok to reach out to someone and ask for help."
The group's advisors, Angela Gorny and Michelle Rable, cannot speak highly enough of what Active Minds has accomplished in its short existence. "They're rock stars! Everything they have accomplished on campus and in the community is all them. They work tirelessly and both Angela and I find inspiration in them every day," says Michelle.
Up next for Active Minds is a partnership with TRiO Student Support Services to host a suicide awareness display to coincide with the Health & Wellness Fair hosted by the Sylvania Franciscan Village. The group also plans to continue posting its "free compliment" signs throughout campus as well.
Sarah Berendt, President
Kristin Schroeder, Vice President
Hanna McLaughlin, Secretary
Kara Duling, Treasurer
Alzheimer's Walk (part of the Lourdes team)
Co-sponsor for the showing of the documentary Bully
Created "Tear-off A Compliment" pages seen throughout campus
Hosted activities during Mental Health Awareness Week & National Stress Out Day
Gray Wolf Hero:
The Conscientious Ninjas
Pledge to people:
Encouraging dialog and creating a positive and stigma-free environment for those suffering from any form of mental illness