Active Minds is a recently-created campus organization that hosts monthly events focused on educating students about mental health and stress relief.
Co-Presidents Katie Cashin (‘23) and Brittany Boetticher (‘23) created the club in Jan. 2021 after their hit collaborative Civic Scholars project, which focused on educating the local community on suicide prevention.
“After Katie and I ran the event, students expressed interest in having a mental health program on campus,” Boetticher said.
She added that the goal of the club is to “promote mental health awareness and education while decreasing stress. We want to bring our principles to Drew’s campus.”
Drew’s organization is one of many chapters of Active Minds, which is a national organization focused on raising awareness of suicide prevention and mental health.
According to its website, “Active Minds has since become the premier organization impacting young adults and mental health. Now on more than 600 campuses, we directly reach more than 1.9 million students each year through campus awareness campaigns, events, advocacy, outreach and more.”
Events hosted by Drew’s chapter feature creative methods of fostering mindfulness and decreasing stress, such as bracelet making, coloring, crafting hearts with uplifting messages to spread around campus and writing anonymous letters of gratitude.
Their latest event took place on Feb. 8 and was open to all interested. “A lot of our events have been drop-in events, where people can come and go as they please,” Boetticher said.
For their Valentine’s Day-themed meeting, club leaders ordered journals to decorate, provided letters for valentines and then gave members free creative reign.
“Since we’re already a couple of weeks into the semester, I’ve felt my stress building up,” Alivia Salls (‘23), a general member, said. “Being able to relax and do some arts-and-crafts was a great way to overcome that stress.”
The event also featured a Spotify playlist of early 2000’s music to create a lighthearted and stress-free atmosphere.
“Seeing a bunch of students doing arts and crafts while listening to music definitely grabbed my attention,” Danielle DelRosso (‘23) said, on why she decided to stop into the event.
“I like how every time we have an event people are happy to be there and happy to see each other,” Boetticher said. “They are genuinely interested in learning about [mental health].”
Although mental health topics aren’t discussed as frequently as Boetticher likes, she said she is pleased it is gaining popularity through clubs like Active Minds.
Since the club is relatively new, Boetticher said she plans to create a more creative and participatory environment in the future.
“I want more club members to be able to get more involved and run their own events and come up with ideas for events.”
Active Minds is also planning on partnering with other clubs and organizations for events, such as the Counseling Center.
Those interested in joining Active Minds can register to be a member of Drew’s chapter on The Path.
If you or someone you know is struggling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours in English and Spanish. Please call 800-273-8255.