PostSecretU comes to Gannon

PostSecretU+comes+to+Gannon

Gannon University’s chapter of Active Minds will be sponsoring PostSecretU, an interactive program from Active Mind Inc., this week in the reference room of the Nash Library.
Active Minds is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to educating college students about mental health issues.
The organization was established in 2000 as Open Minds by Alison Malmon, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, following the suicide of her older brother, Brian.
At the time, there were no organizations on her college campus that dealt with the issue of mental health education or awareness.
In 2003, Open Minds became a nonprofit organization and changed its name to Active Minds, Inc., and has since expanded to more than 400 college campuses across the country.
The Gannon University chapter of Active Minds aims to remove the negative stigma that surrounds mental health issues, while creating a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues.
PostSecretU is a program designed by Active Minds Inc. that allows students to share their innermost secrets in an anonymous forum.
All of the secrets are submitted anonymously to allow students to express themselves without fear of judgment or backlash.
Last week, tables were set up in the library, as well as two residence halls, Finegan and North Hall, where students could write down their secrets in a creative manner and submit them for the display.
There were also locked submission boxes located in the Health and Counseling Center. Each secret displayed on campus was written by actual Gannon students.
Active Minds received over 100 secrets during the week.
Jessica Mazur, president of the Active Minds Inc. chapter at Gannon, believes that the display is a unique way to gather in support of one another and relieve some of the stresses of college life.
“I think this display is interesting and allows the Gannon community to come together in a way very out of the ordinary,” Mazur said.
“We all have secrets that we keep to ourselves and although the severity of all of our secrets may range from silly to extremely serious, we all may range from silly to extremely serious, we all feel better getting our secrets off of our chest.”
The Post Secret display is also interactive. Any person who identifies with a particular secret or who wants to show support for the person who wrote the secret may leave a post-it.
Emme Chabalie, a freshman physician assistant major, said that she thinks the display is a good place for students who may feel uneasy sharing their secrets aloud.
“It’s an outlet for people with things they’re not comfortable saying out loud to help with their stress levels,” Chabalie said.
Anyone interested in reading more secrets submitted to the PostSecretU program from around the world can visit postsecret.com, an online display of secrets updated every Sunday morning.
“I believe that this PostSecretU allows the GU community to read the thoughts of others and hopefully connect with those feelings and words in their own way,” Mazur said.
“It is nice to discover that somebody else may be suffering just as you are, or thinks about things the way you do too; relating to others is empowering and relieving to know that you are not alone.”

LYDIA FENNESSY
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