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Active Minds Chapter Receives National Recognition

Student-run organization works to reduce stigma of mental illness

Bethlehem, Pa., April 8, 2010—The Active Minds Chapter at Moravian College, which aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, recently received a Five Star Chapter award from its national organization.  The award recognizes the outstanding administration, communication, leadership, meetings and events, and outreach of the chapter.

Active Minds, Inc. is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC whose purpose is to develop and support chapters of student-run mental health awareness groups on college campuses across North America.  It was founded as Open Minds in 2001 by a junior at University of Pennsylvania and renamed in 2003. With over 200 campus chapters, the organization works to educate students on the facts about mental health, connect students to young adults affected by various disorders, change the public view on mental health, and plan campus events that attract students to their mission.

Chapters awarded a five-star rating have fulfilled all requirements of Active Minds chapters, including all paperwork and conference calls with the national Chapter Coordinator.  They are the first to be considered for additional awards from their own and partner organizations, as well as to receive scholarships and grant money.

The chapter has earned the highest honor within the organization two years after its inception. “It’s remarkable that we have been able to achieve this recognition in such a short period of time,” said Carolyn Latkovich ’12, Chapter president. “It’s a testament to the engagement of the students involved.”

The group participates in National Alliance of Mental Illness of Lehigh Valley Walk and that celebrates National Stress Out Week (next week) by holding events and "make your own stress ball" activities. The Chapter’s advisor is Lori Toedter, professor of psychology at Moravian College. For more information on Moravian’s Active Minds, visit the national organization’s website at http://activeminds.nonprofitsoapbox.com/index.php.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.