Sean O’Callahan, Senior
My name is Sean O’Callahan and I am a senior psychology major at Ohio State University. I played soccer growing up and really enjoy anything and everything having to do with sports. I joined Active Minds at OSU during my junior year a few months after our chapter was founded. After dealing with depression as a teenager, I felt the need to spread awareness concerning the prevalence of mental illness during my college years. Active Minds has been an incredibly motivating experience for me. I am privileged to work with so many talented and passionate individuals and am excited to see the organization grow in the future.
In response to Murphy:
1. What was the most challenging part of Send Silence Packing?
The most challenging part of SSP was dealing with some dissenting opinions that were voiced during the event. All of the volunteers are so passionate and knowledgeable about the cause, it was hard for us to see some individuals oppose the movement.
2. If you could speak to someone in one of the personal stories, what would you say? About the event?
If I could speak to someone in one of the personal stories, I would be curious as to if anyone reached out to him or her; if anyone began to recognize any change in behavior or mood during their struggle. I would tell them that SSP is about bringing light to the issues that students deal with that can cause suicidal thoughts. SSP lets students know that there is always somewhere to turn, no matter what they are going through.
3. How do you promote mental health in everyday life?
I try to promote mental health in everyday life by being open about my personal story and encouraging others to do the same.
Sean’s questions for James Madison University:
1. How has your work with Active Minds been received at JMU?
2. In a perfect world, how do you envision the mental health movement progressing in the years to come?
3. What has been the best experience for your chapter at JMU?
Paige Van Wormer, Sophomore
I’m Paige Van Wormer, a sophomore and fashion and retail major with a Spanish minor at the Ohio State University! I got involved with Active Minds because its goal is something I am very passionate about. In high school my ex-boyfriend would often say that I am crazy for seeing a counselor and ever since I have hid going to counseling. At one point I even stopped going to the counseling services because of how ashamed I was; why couldn’t I deal with my own problems? Active Minds has made me feel comfortable in my skin again!
In response to Molly:
1. What was the most impactful moment about today?
Today a woman started tearing up when I explained what the 1,100 backpacks stood for. Her brother committed suicide a year before. It really brought everything together for me.
2. What quote, mantra, philosophy, etc. do you seek to live out?
Uh, I have always critiqued myself so harshly on everything I do: sports, school, image. Everyday I try to gain a little more self-confidence and maybe help other young girls learn from my mistakes.
3. Has this even changed you? How do you plan to act?
Send Silence Packing made me realize how important it is to break the stigma around mental health, and ultimately will make me that much more motivated in future Active Minds events.
Paige’s questions for James Madison University:
1. How has active minds changed your outlook on mental health?
2. What legacy would you like to leave on your chapter when you graduate?
3. Do you think Active Minds can really change the conversation about mental health? How?
Neethi Johnson, President
Hi, I’m Neethi Johnson and I’m the president at Active Minds OSU. I’m majoring in biology and entomology and I’ve always been interested in pursuing psychiatry and felt like a student-led voice on campus dealing with mental health was lacking on my campus.
In response to Danielle:
1. How long has your chapter been around and how have you developed it?
Our chapter has been around for 1.5 years now and we feel like we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. We’ve worked to gain a presence on campus and put on major campus-wide events.
2. How have you seen Active Minds impacting your campus?
Active Minds OSU has impacted the campus through collaborative events and programming with major OSU departments and organizations.
3. What programs work best/reach out to students most effectively?
The programs we have seen work best are outreach programs where we go to the students, on our main oval.
Neethi’s questions for James Madison University:
1. How do you gain membership on your campus?
2. What was your favorite part about Send Silence Packing?
3. How do you utilize the list-serv/google groups to communicate with membership?