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New Mexico State University Carlsbad brings 'Active Minds' to campus

Date: 03/08/2011

New Mexico State University Carlsbad has brought the first chapter of Active Minds to campus - and to the state - to help students deal with stress through awareness, education and open discussion about mental health. Karla Thompson, director of Student Counseling Services, initiated the organization of the chapter after recognizing mental health issues in her own students.

Thompson learned of Active Minds through the participation of National Depression Screening Day, part of National Mental Health Week. Active Minds is a national student organization that aims to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health on campuses across North America.

"After conducting in-class depression screenings and seeing how many of our students are struggling with stress and anxiety - and in some cases, potentially more serious mental health concerns - I thought our students would benefit from being part of this organization," Thompson said.

After two days of announcing the formation of the chapter, 50 students expressed interest in joining. They have events planned for the spring semester such as participating in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week in February and an event to address cyber bullying.

"We need to educate the masses that help is available and that they are not alone," said Kevin Philips, president of Active Minds at NMSU Carlsbad.

Both Thompson and Philips said the main goal is to reach out to students and give them the help that they are seeking and to reduce the percentage of students struggling with mental health issues.

Written by Christine Pixley.

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