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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Block party raises awareness

From left, Kate Maloney and Naomi Carp, staffers at Active Minds' national office, pose as Matthew Ferry snaps a photo at Tuesday's Love is Louder Event. Becky Crowder | Hatchet photographer

This post was written by features editor Melissa Turley.

One out of every four adults over the age of 18 is affected by mental illness each year, but instead of allowing this statistic to evoke fear, student organization Active Minds is using it to raise awareness.

Active Minds, a mental-health awareness and advocacy group, co-sponsored the “Love is Louder” block party in Kogan Plaza. Active Minds co-presidents Rachel Krausman and Amanda Uhme, both sophomores, said their goal was to spread positive mental health before finals set in.

The first 50 attendees received Georgetown Cupcakes and the majority also enjoyed free pizza. GW Griots, a spoken word group, performed their oratory art, focusing poetic themes on battles with body image and confidence. GW Pitches followed their performance with musical messages of hope.

Sophomore Leanne Sherred writes “Love is Louder” on her arm during Active Mind’s outreach event Tuesday.                                  Becky Crowder | Hatchet photographer

The Love is Louder organization was founded by actress Brittany Snow, The Jed Foundation and MTV in response to the multiple teenage suicides in September 2010. Members from Active Minds attended a conference lead by all three organizations and Snow earlier this year.

Members of Active Minds urged students at the block party to write “#loveislouder” on their hands, the twitter hashtag that has become the motto of the organization’s online awareness campaign. Krausman said Love is Louder invites everyone who has ever been bullied, mistreated or misunderstood to raise their voices and share their stories.

Active Minds members had been planning this event prior to the tragic suicide of Ismail Ginwala, but cited it as undeniable evidence to support the importance of raising mental health awareness, especially on college campuses.

“After the tragedy of a suicide on campus, this event is even more important to us,” said Krausman.

She and Uhme both set goals for this event, including decreasing the social stigma for those seeking mental health treatment and counseling for bullying.

The Active Minds organization has only been established for less than a year, but the members feel a special connection to the cause. Krausman explained that members of the executive board have all either lost a loved one to suicide or have been diagnosed with varying mental health disorders.

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