Published on October 26, 2009  

Samford University is the first college in the state of Alabama to establish a chapter of Active Minds, a national organization that promotes open discussion of mental health issues. Even before the official recognition, this group of students, faculty and staff organized several successful events designed to promote informed discussion of mental health issues and to combat the misconceptions and stigma that are often associated with mental health problems.

In October, 2009, the chapter organized an educational program, "Changing the Conversation about Mental Health," that featured a diverse panel of mental health experts from pharmacy, psychology, psychiatry and ministry. The panel engaged in conversation and answered questions from members of the Samford community. Last spring, the chapter organized an event, "Extend a Hand to Change the Conversation about Mental Health," in which over 100 students placed their hand prints, names and sentiments of advocacy for those who deal with mental health problems on murals that were later posted around campus. More such events and a website with information and resources are planned for the near future.

Membership in Active Minds is open to all students, faculty and staff. Contact the faculty sponsor, Dr. Jackie Goldstein, in the department of psychology for more information.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.