We would like to invite you to learn more about Mental Health Awareness Day (MHAD) 2012, an on-campus event which will take place on Wednesday, April 25th on the front lawn of Coffman Memorial union. The goals for MHAD are to reduce the stigma of mental illness and educate students about mental health resources available on campus.
This event was first held on campus 2 years ago, on April 26th, 2010. It was a huge success - we estimate that we had over 1,500 participants. You might remember there were backpacks on the lawn in front of Coffman that were part of the Send Silence Packing (SSP) display from Active Minds, Inc., and represented the 1,100 US college students that die by suicide every year. Some of the backpacks feature stories, written by friends and family, of students who died. As part of MHAD 2012, we are going to build our own display on Wednesday April 25th---ALL DAY, similar to that of SSP, but changing the theme a little bit. This year's theme will be Don't Sit in Silence, and rather than having 1,100 backpacks, we are planning to have 1,100 empty chairs on Coffman Front Lawn to represent not only the 1,100 suicides, but also the silence connected to mental health and the stigma around it.
I also encourage you to check out the blog from the 2010 event as it captures beautiful images of what the event was on the Twin Cities campus: MHAD 2010
MHAD has the potential to reach a large number of students, change attitudes about mental health, and give students vital information about the mental health resources available to them as University of Minnesota students. Since this display involves a large amount of planning and volunteers, we are already looking for people who would be interested in helping! The day will include table displays on resources available on campus, a Flash Mob of support, t-shirts and stories. We know that mental health and suicide don't discriminate and everyone is affected. We ask for your support, your participation, your help that day.
If you are interested in submitting a story or volunteering, please check us out on facebook (MHAD on Facebook), twitter(UmnMHAD), or send us an email at MHAD1234@gmail.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration!
Mental Health Awareness Day Planning Committee
University of Minnesota Twin Cities