Active Minds Meetings Continue | University of Portland

Active Minds Meetings Continue

When students were asked to leave campus in response to COVID-19, the student leaders of Active Minds, UP’s mental health awareness and advocacy group, decided to be proactive and move their group meetings online every Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. on Zoom. They will meet through the end of the year and all students are welcome to join, whether they’ve been involved with the group previously or not.

“We saw that this was a time where students could use us,” says Active Minds president Rachel Mehlman ’20, noting that the present involves so many different stressors and feelings of uncertainty. “I thought, ‘This is where Active Minds can help.’ We can offer tools for when you feel most vulnerable and help you through it,” she says. 

Since the UP Active Minds chapter was founded in 2015, the leadership has worked hard to make the group a safe and welcoming space and to be a strong voice on campus. 

Like everyone else, the Active Minds group was not ready for the year to end. They had big plans for their annual Fresh Check Day, a campus-wide effort to raise awareness of suicide prevention, and they are still brainstorming creative ways to launch their “Stress Less Week” during finals week. Last year they brought in puppies from the Humane Society to campus and sponsored other destressing activities.

For the weekly online meetings, they are sticking to a simple structure: a check-in on how people are doing and a presentation on a particular subject. Mehlman says the pressing questions for her are: “What do you need? How can we move forward? How can we still advocate for others?”

Mehlman wants to be sure students know that this resource is there for them. “I hope the meeting attendance increases,” she says.

For more information, email and follow ActiveMindsUP on Instagram