Let's talk mental health: Active Minds to host letter-writing event Tuesday

By Austin De Dios | January 27, 2019 9:11pm


Photo illustration by Jeff Braccia. 

by Jeffrey Braccia / The Beacon

“We all struggle, let's struggle together.” This motto belongs proudly to Active Minds, a club at University of Portland dedicated to increasing mental health awareness across campus. 

In the spirit of that motto, Active Minds is hosting an event called Dear UP: Mental Health Exists on Tuesday. It will be held in St. Mary’s, where students can write anonymous letters sharing their mental health experiences and hardships. Following the event, the anonymous letters will be displayed in the library for everyone to read and reflect on.

“It’s all anonymous, so it’s just an opportunity for them to write something about their experience with mental health, whether it be a positive encounter with something, or something they were dealing with,” Active Minds President Rachel Mehlman said.

Along with the letters, three alumni will be speaking at the event about their journeys with mental health and their experiences at UP. Jesse Dunn, mental health advocate and one of the founders of UP's chapter of Active Minds, will be on the panel of alumni scheduled for that night. 

Mehlman said that this event has been included in Diversity Dialogues because of the way mental health is frequently stigmatized in minority groups. Active Minds wants to open up the mental health discussion to everyone. 

“Everybody is dealing with mental health, whether it’s positive or negative, and there’s a lot going on that you don’t see on the outside,” junior Ryan Martin, Active Minds treasurer, said. 

Dear UP: Mental Health Exists will take place in St. Mary’s Lounge from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29. 

De Dios is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at dedios22@up.edu.