Stomp Out the Stigma of Mental Illness

Active Minds Brings Home a Powerful Message

Stomp Out The Stigma LogoAn audience of more than 450 students and alumni crowded into Furst Hall 535 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, to learn a critical message about confronting mental health issues: The issues are nothing to be ashamed of!

That message resonated loud and clear at the “Stomp Out the Stigma” annual event, hosted by the Yeshiva University Counseling Center and Active Minds, a mental health awareness, education and advocacy organization run by YU students.

Five trailblazing students from the YU community spoke publicly and powerfully about their own profound experiences in dealing with psychological challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, suicidal thoughts and eating disorders.

Ranging from intense and moving to heartwarmingly funny, the speakers’ candid talks underscored the need to destigmatize mental health issues and challenged the audience to do so.

According to Dr. Chaim Nissel, dean of students, “It is well documented that stigma is a barrier to mental health treatment, and events such as this enable students in need to access appropriate support from our highly capable counseling center. I am very proud of our student speakers and the organizers of this program, and I know that programs like this help students immensely.”

New to this year’s event: specific steps on how to stomp out the stigma and advocate for better mental health care. The audience was presented with information about how to seek care on campus and opportunities to advance the cause, including an Active Minds Facebook campaign, a training event focused on Mental Health First Aid, YU’s Crisis Text Line, and organizations such as Refuat HaNefesh, among others.