Health affects every part of your life.
If you catch a cold, for example, all aspects of your life change. The quality of work you are capable of doing falls drastically, due to a pounding headache and constantly running nose. Normally positive interactions with your colleagues, peers, and loved ones can turn negative with your newfound irritability. Concentrating on schoolwork seems to be nearly impossible from lack of sleep and never-ending body aches. Sometimes illness can be too overwhelming; you take a day off work to rest so you can return to your 100 percent self.
What about mental health? In a society that stigmatizes mental illness, it can be hard to have open, healthy, and supportive discussions. For online students, balancing work, family, and school can lead to heavy mental strain. Active Minds at Penn State World Campus is a club that aims to address such issues, and we learned more about the group from Victoria Zielinski, president of Active Minds at Penn State World Campus:
As a nonprofit organization, Active Minds aims to empower students to speak openly about mental health. Alison Malmon founded the club in 2003 after the loss of her older brother to mental illness. The organization’s main objective is to educate and to encourage others to seek help when needed. Fourteen years later, Active Minds is forty chapters strong, featured by such media as CNN, The New York Times, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Active Minds at Penn State World Campus is one of the first online chapters of the student organization. It is dedicated to promoting mental health, generating awareness, destroying the stigma around mental disorders, and supporting students who have a mental illness. Members help peers find resources needed to overcome challenging and stressful times, by connecting them with information, aid, and support within their communities.