Active Minds given award

Baker University's Active Minds organization is doing more than providing tips to students on how to reduce stress. It is also earning a label of a five-star chapter.

The group was recognized by its national headquarters as being one of the top chapters of Active Minds.

The "Stop out Stigma" day was handpicked as one of the best Active Minds programs in the country.

"We are continually impressed with the inventive ways they reach their campus with the Active Minds message," Chapter Coordinator Becky Gordon said.

Active Minds is a national organization started by a young woman who created the organization in memory of her brother. He suffered from a mental disorder and committed suicide because he felt as though he had no one to talk to. She started the organization to help reduce the stigma around mental disorders and to save other families affected by a situation, like she and her family did.

Junior Meredith Hodges started an Active Minds chapter at Baker because she was intrigued by the impact it could have on students. She knew that she wanted to bring this organization to Baker.

In the end, Active Minds was established a little over a year ago on campus.

The group has hosted numerous events in just a short year to help students with stress and disorders. It hosts National Stress Out Week, National Eating Disorder Week, Suicidal Prevention Week and a Mental Awareness Week.

Each week has multiple events that help reduce stress, give tips on how to handle a mental disorder and give awareness on the stigma around mental disorders.

"I am proud of the work the group has done so far and I hope we are able to continue to have a positive impact on campus and in the community as well," Stephanie Brown, treasurer of Active Minds, said.

The recognition is a big deal for the members of the group, especially for Baker's campus. This is a top honor from their national headquarters, meaning they meet all the requirements and are spreading the message of Active Minds.

"Well it hasn't really set in yet, I guess it's just hard to believe since we're only a year old," Hodges said via Skype. "But, we've all worked really hard and have had a lot of support from the Baker community. I would say it's because of the positive feedback that we've been so successful, it's certainly a key motivator."

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