Active Minds on Guilford College campus

According to their Instagram bio, the Active Minds Club at Guilford College prides itself on “promoting self-care and destigmatizing mental health within (their) community.” 

The club “hosts events that promote self-care and mental health awareness throughout the year, as well as connect with other Active Minds groups nationally to exchange ideas and information to further strengthen our chapter,” explained senior club officer Jillian Morrison. 

For students, it is always important to find time for mental health while managing everything life throws at them. It is especially vital to be physically and mentally healthy at this time, with all of the changes and the uncertainty happening around us due to the pandemic and other stressful world events.

Morrison gave some advice to college students who are trying to balance their schoolwork, jobs, sports/hobbies and social lives. 

 “I would say the main thing is to take time for yourself,” Morrison said. “Lean on your friends, family and social network, but also remember to spend time focusing on you and the things you enjoy. I love this quote by Glenn Close, because it illustrates the importance of having these kinds of groups and highlights that while mental health is often thought of as taboo, it shouldn’t be: ‘What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.’”

Take a walk, take time off when you aren’t extremely busy and spend time with friends,” added Connor Button, another Active Minds officer. “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Benita Bahoya, a current Active Minds officer and club member since her first year at Guilford, shared how she is involved in Active Minds and elaborated on what the club means to her. 

“I’ve always been interested in mental health,” said Bahoya. “I think it’s extremely important. When I was a freshman, and even before then, people didn’t talk about mental health as much as they do now. When I learned about Active Minds I wanted to join immediately and help in destigmatizing mental health on campus. College is hard enough. People shouldn’t have to struggle in silence as well.”

But Active Minds is about much more than learning about mental health awareness. It is also about building strong connections within the Quaker community and making a positive difference in the lives of others. 

Morrison described how being a part of Active Minds has provided her with a space to explore important mental health issues “while giving back to our Guilford community through advocacy and programming.”

When asked how being a club member has positively impacted him, Button replied, “I get to help other people, and I enjoy spending time with the other people in the club.” 

Morrison spoke about her fondness for the club: “I love being a part of this club and using their resources to encourage self-love and chip away at the belief that mental health is something to be ashamed of. Connecting with Guilford students about shared experiences regarding mental health is powerful and shows how more work needs to be done around these issues.”

The Active Minds Club has been very active this semester, despite COVID-19. The club has continued to spread their knowledge and advice about mental health during the pandemic through not only on-campus events, but social media as well. The club’s Instagram page posts almost daily motivational quotes and mental health tips for dealing with stress and anxiety. 

Button said that the club will have several events next week to help destress after the election and as midterms end. Active Minds is hosting a virtual Stress Less Week, happening Nov. 11-13. 

To stay informed regarding all upcoming Active Minds club events, follow their Instagram page under the username of activemindsguilford. 

If you are interested in joining, email [email protected], or reach out to Jillian Morrison or Savannah Henry and ask to be added to the mailing list. Once you’re a club member, you’ll be able to attend meetings and events, and interact on social media. Students can also get Community Scholar hours as club members.