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Northwestern students march to reduce mental health stigma

Ary+Hansen%2C+the+incoming+co-president+of+NU+Active+Minds%2C+John+Dunkle%2C+executive+director+of+CAPS%2C+and+Amanda+Meyer%2C+the+incoming+co-president+of+NU+Active+Minds%2C+lead+the+%22Stomp+Out+Stigma%22+march+Friday.+This+was+the+first+year+the+event+was+held+and+more+than+60+students+participated.+
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Northwestern students march to reduce mental health stigma

Ary Hansen, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, John Dunkle, executive director of CAPS, and Amanda Meyer, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, lead the

Ary Hansen, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, John Dunkle, executive director of CAPS, and Amanda Meyer, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, lead the "Stomp Out Stigma" march Friday. This was the first year the event was held and more than 60 students participated.

Tyler Pager/The Daily Northwestern

Ary Hansen, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, John Dunkle, executive director of CAPS, and Amanda Meyer, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, lead the "Stomp Out Stigma" march Friday. This was the first year the event was held and more than 60 students participated.

Tyler Pager/The Daily Northwestern

Tyler Pager/The Daily Northwestern

Ary Hansen, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, John Dunkle, executive director of CAPS, and Amanda Meyer, the incoming co-president of NU Active Minds, lead the "Stomp Out Stigma" march Friday. This was the first year the event was held and more than 60 students participated.

Tyler Pager, Assistant Campus Editor

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More than 60 students marched through campus Friday as part of “Stomp Out Stigma” in an effort to increase awareness about mental illness.

The event, which was held for the first time this year, was organized by Northwestern’s chapter of Active Minds and Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity. Students walked through campus chanting “stomp out stigma” and holding signs with statistics about mental health.

The event also served as a fundraiser for the national organization of Active Minds and raised more than $1,300. Brown Sugar, ReFresH Dance Crew, Graffiti Dancers and Gimble, an a cappella group from the University of Michigan, also performed.

John Dunkle, executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said the march was another way to continue to raise awareness about mental health. He said students, faculty and staff all play an integral role in promoting dialogue about these issues and the University still has work to do.

“Are we where we want to be? No,” he said. “We are continuing to push and it’s with your help working with me and with other campus partners we’re going to continue to raise awareness. We are going to continue to think about how we can do better to make sure we meet the mental health and the emotional health of our students.”

Naina Desai, the outgoing co-president of NU Active Minds, said she planned the event after hearing about a similar march that Georgetown University’s chapter of Active Minds hosts each year. She heard about the event at a national Active Minds conference.

“I’m really just excited to make this visible presence on campus,” the Weinberg senior said. “All these people who don’t really know what Active Minds is or care about the conservation about what mental health is. They are seeing us get active and seeing the big group that we are.”

Students began the march at Norris University Center and passed through The Arch and walked north on Sheridan Road.

Amanda Meyer, the incoming co-president of Active Minds, said she was pleased with the turnout and excited about the response from campus.

“I think the cool thing about the walk is that it is physically bringing awareness about an issue to campus because we are walking around and we have signs,” the Weinberg junior said. “People are noticing who we are and they are probably going to start asking questions and thinking about it.”

Emily Yau, a Weinberg sophomore and a member of APO, said the march served to bring mental health to the forefront of people’s minds.

“I think that it is nice for people to get to remind everyone that we all need to keep working to reduce stigma and make mental illness something that can be talked about on campus,” she said.

Email: tylerpager2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @tylerpager

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