Breaking the silence

Gaby Mudd News Contributor

Club pushes conversation on mental health

The Oregon State University Active Minds club presented the annual Daisy Project in the Memorial Union Quad on Thursday to raise awareness about mental health on campus.

The quad was surrounded by over 1,000 daisies as students, faculty and the corvallis community came to read, listen and learn about mental health and suicide on college campuses in order to promote changing the way it is discussed.

The Active Minds club is a national organization that is dedicated to empowering students to change the perception about mental health on college campuses. The 1,100 daisies represent the average amount of students on college campuses that die from suicide every year according to Rae Madison, the vice president of the Active Minds club and the Task Force Director of Wellness Affairs for ASOSU.

“The two yellow daisies represent the two OSU students who lost their lives to suicide,” Madison said. “This event brings awareness to the point and it illustrates to students that this is the average amount of your peers that lose their lives to mental illnesses.”

On average 1 in 4 students suffer from a mental illness particularly the most in the ages between 18 and 25 years old according to Madison. Despite the frequency of these illnesses, there is still a stigma that impacts the way mental health is viewed in society Madison explained.

“When we don’t have the conversations about these conditions people feel more alone and depressed,” Madison said. “It should be talked about in the same regard as other health issues and diseases such as cancer or broken limbs.”

Madison explained how simply talking about mental health raises awareness.

“As long as we start these conversations we can continue to de-stigmatize these issues,” Madison said.

Bria Knight, a psychology major and a member of the Active Minds club saw the event as necessary.

“I think that it is so important and eye opening,” Knight said. “A lot of people do not know the impact or prevalence of mental health issues, but events like this help get the conversation started.”

Knight also said that people should not shy away from seeking help.

“I would encourage more people to treat mental health like any other psychical condition,” Knight said. “It is nothing to be ashamed of and you should not be afraid to seek help for a mental health disorder or illness.”

Katie Dillon, a psychology major and an attendee of the event, spoke about her own story regarding how mental health has affected her and how she can relate to the importance elf raising awareness about mental health.

“My best friend died from suicide so I know the impact that suicide can have,” Dillon said.

“Everyday should be filled with joy and even on the bad days. Everyone should know that they matter and everyone should know that life is worth living.”

Dillion also spoke gave a final message regarding the importance of events like the daisy project.

“I think that there is a lot of hope when people know that they are not alone and that they matter and their life matters,” Dillion said. “They do not have to sit in silence.”

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