With a table surrounded by posters proclaiming body positivity and a jar offering free compliments, you can tell that the Active Minds organization on campus is truly committed to tackling the topic of body image in a positive and healing way. In support of Eating Disorder Awareness Week and the National Eating Disorder Association, Active Minds will be tabling in the Student Union everyday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with activities, information and giveaways centered around body positivity.
“Active Minds promotes your mental healing,” Justina Petrullo, a sixth-semester student studying an individualized major in mind, body and health, said. “We encourage students who may have mental illness to stop by, as we can provide support and a conducive environment to healing.”
Along with information about eating disorders, such as what particular eating disorders are most common, how to receive support and how to raise more awareness, the club also provides information about mental illness in general. It seeks to spread more awareness, and hopefully help some people on the path to healing.
The tabling event is in conjunction with the Women’s Center, which Active Minds often partners with. The club also receives support and partnership from UConn’s Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS). They usually host about one to two events a month to bring attention and awareness to their mission, and meet Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the Student Union.
Previously, the club had also held events in support of Suicide Prevention Week and will be a part of Fresh Check week later in the semester.
“I personally love being a part of Active Minds because mental illness is not something a lot of people talk about, and when you’re surrounded by people that approach a topic the same way you do, you feel more connected to the club as a whole,” Petrullo continued. “We just wanted people to know there is support on campus for people dealing with mental illness, and we offer an environment of nonjudgmental people so you can compress and relax.”
The slip of paper I managed to fish from the compliments jar read, “You’re courageous!” Stop by Active Mind’s table in the Student Union to grab your own, and support the club’s positive approach to raising awareness about eating disorders and mental illness.
Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.