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New Active Minds Club Combines Mindfulness and Student-Led Community Building

Students+gathered+at+the+Student+Union+for+the+IMALIVE+Mental+Health+Fair.+Photo+credit%3A+Rachel+Hyman
Students gathered at the Student Union for the IMALIVE Mental Health Fair. Photo credit: Rachel Hyman

Active Minds is a newly reinstated club that students can join to feel heard amongst a community of like-minded students. The club encourages them to connect with each other and help themselves overcome mental roadblocks that tend to get amplified in a collegiate environment.

Active Minds is first and foremost about building a student led community where they can learn valuable mindfulness strategies and make their lives easier on an individual level too. Students can get a sense of belonging through this community and allow themselves to feel heard.

The club has only been around for a few months, after years of inactivity since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. Now having been reinstated, its leaders are eager to watch it grow and thrive.

“We’re really excited to reinstate it again this semester, and re-engage with students about mental health programs,” said Lenka Schalkle, one of the club’s advisors.

While it is still fairly new to Palomar, Active Minds itself is a firmly established organization with chapters of the club on 700+ different campuses across the country.

“Mental health barriers can kind of arise when you’re balancing studies and work and family. A lot of obligations. It’s really stressful, and sometimes students can kind of feel intimidated by the thought of seeking help,” said Ariana Jorden, the club’s secretary. “Having that community where people are providing a safe space and inviting space, if people want to take that, I think it’s really crucial to have on a college campus.”

A regular club meeting combines fun, student-led activities while informing members about methods to help reduce stress and anxiety. They typically meet every other Tuesday.

“We had a day out there under the clock tower, and that was really fun,” said Jessica Villagomez, the club’s vice-president. “We played a game of charades, but I also kind of including, like mindfulness, you know, like coping techniques and stuff like that.”

Their first meeting was on Feb. 20. While the turnout left more to be desired amongst the club leaders, everyone was still thrilled to finally get the club back up and running.

“I think for our first meeting it went well. We didn’t quite get the attendance we maybe would have wanted, but just the fact that people showed interest at all was really special to us,” said Jorden.

The club’s goals are to continue building a student-led community and to gain exposure amongst the students at Palomar College.

“We’d love to get some more people especially so that we can make quorum for our club, but also just to kind of, again, provide that safe space for people that seek help,” said Jorden.

In addition to new members, the club is also looking for more people to fulfill its leadership positions. Since the club is brand new, current members are open to receiving input from anyone interested in making a positive impact.

“Students are welcome, and their voices are welcome, and, you know, we want to build more of that on this campus,” said Patrick Savaiano, one of the club’s advisors. “To me, that’s the most important component of all of this, is belonging for students.”

Anyone interested in joining or showing support can join Active Minds at their next skill shop where they’ll be talking about self compassion. From May 6 – 14 will be hosting skillshops on stress management, self-care and burnout. For more information you can visit the club’s event calendar here.

 

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New Active Minds Club Combines Mindfulness and Student-Led Community Building