Alison Malmon will tell her story of how she started Active Minds, Inc. to increase student awareness of mental health issues and dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness Tuesday, March 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Todd Wehr Chemistry Building, room 100. Active Minds is the only organization in the country dedicated to utilizing the student voice to raise mental health awareness on college campuses. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Malmon began Active Minds in 2001 at the University of Pennsylvania following the suicide of her older brother Brian. Brian, also a college student, had been experiencing depression and psychosis for three years but concealed his symptoms from family and friends. He took a suggested leave of absence from Columbia University in the middle of his senior year and returned to the family’s Potomac, Md. home for treatment. A year and a half later, Brian ended his life.
Malmon recognized that few Penn students were discussing mental health issues, motivating her to change the culture on her campus. She created a group to combat the stigma of mental illness, encourage students to seek help early and prevent future tragedies. Two years later she formed the non-profit organization to support chapters of Active Minds student groups on campuses across the country. In five years Active Minds has grown into a well-recognized entity with more than 150 campus chapters, becoming the voice of young adult mental health advocacy nationwide.
For her efforts Malmon was named 2007 Washingtonian of the Year by Washington Magazine, Citizen of the Year by the Potomac, Md. Rotary Club, a Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women and she received the Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award from the National Mental Health Association.
Media wishing to speak to Malmon should contact Brigid O’Brien Miller in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-7445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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