Saturday, November 13, 2010

Active Minds Conference

John Nash accepting his award, as his wife and Alison look on.
Last weekend 3 of ETD's four staff members flew to New Jersey for Active Minds' annual Mental Health on Campus Conference, hosted by Montclair State University.   Over the course of two days we attended as many workshop sessions as we could.

Britanny Snow sharing her story
We also got to:  attend the key note presentation by Frank Warren of Post Secret fame.  Watch John Nash (winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and subject of the four-time Academy Award winning film A Beautiful Mind) receive the Founders Award for Advocacy and Awareness from Active Minds founder and executive director Alison Malmon. Attend the closing speech given by Brittany Snow, who spoke about her experiences with mental illness and her inspiration for the Love is Louder campaign that she is spear heading in partnership with the Jed foundation and MTV.   The campaign is a national level viral effort to raise awareness and spur action and change around issues of bullying.

We were also very excited to be presenting one of the workshops for students on Sunday morning.  Our founder and Artistic Director Brighid led a workshop teaching participants about how personal narrative, performance, and story telling can be instrumental in spreading awareness and decreasing stigma about mental illness and mental health.  We got tons of positive feed back from the students (and university faculty members and Active Minds staff) who joined her.

Phew, it was a busy, fun, and informative 2 days.  It was great to meet so many young people who are actively invested in promoting mental health awareness on college campuses, and to learn about what other groups are doing to combat stigma.

Do you have questions about our experience?  Do you know of a conference or event that would be enriched and enlivened by a workshop or performance from ETD?  Comment below or email info@erasingthedistance.org.

Enjoy your weekend!

-Jessica

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