At times when people are struggling with mental health they might not know where to turn, but at Keene State there is the Active Minds Club.
According to junior and Social Media Outreach director Amelia Schill, the Active Minds Club is a student-run organization that raises awareness for mental health issues such as suicide and stress.
The club offers students a completely judgement free zone. “It’s kind of nice because we don’t really counsel each other but there is always a support group. At every meeting we do what is called a check-in so we just go and talk about our day and if we want to talk about something that’s bothering us we can; if not that’s fine too. It’s also nice to openly talk about issues you have going on without being judged,” said senior Vice President Carissa Coy.
Schill agreed with this. “It’s good to have that option for anybody who wants it, as friends supporting friends in a non-judgement group of people,” Schill said. She also said she has gained knowledge from being in the club. “Personally I have learned that you can’t always tell if somebody is dealing with a mental health issue,” explained Schill.
A sophomore, who asked not to be named, likes the idea of the club. “I think it’s very good to have a club like this because a lot of people who struggle will be able to gravitate towards others that have gone through similar things. It’s good to have a community where people can come together and just talk about how they feel along with their experiences,” said the sophomore.
Coy feels a similar way. “I personally deal with mental health issues and it’s kind of amazing to see other people with similarities, but everything is also so different at the same time,” said Coy.
This sophomore also knows what it is like to struggle with mental health and said that they would frequently visit The Wellness Center last year when times were tough but have now turned to “healthier options” such as writing in a journal.
Schill does not want people to feel this way about counseling, though. “I joined because I feel that fighting the stigma against mental health is a big thing that we need to be doing. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable going to therapists; they feel that it’s a bad thing that you need help or to talk to somebody. As somebody who wants to be a therapist, I don’t want people to feel like that,” said Schill.
For students who do not have the time, Schill offered some advice. “If the stress of school is getting too much for you to deal with, you definitely need to make the time to talk to somebody. If you can’t make that time, I’ve always found that just talking to a good friend helps, even if they do not have all the answers,” Schill said.
The Active Minds Club meets Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in either the Madison Street Lounge or Student Center room 308. The Wellness Center is also open offering free counseling Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted at