The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Club is active in trying to help people be healthy

Elba Quijano Staff Reporter Oct 22, 2020

Thriving with mental health can be a challenge. Highline students and faculty have created a group to discuss their experiences with mental health and the overcoming the challenges.

Active Minds is a student-run club that provides a forum to bring awareness and support in discussions about mental health.  

Active Minds brought together different students and faculty to collaborate in a panel and discuss about their mental health issues recently during Highline’s Disability Justice Week.

The club’s mission is to have an open mind about mental illness while Inspiring students to open up about their mental health. They bring awareness to resolving mental challenges with support from the community.

Jessica Neilson

“I’m like everyone else. I don’t have any physical struggles, it’s just inside the mind is what really counts,” said Sam Desmith, a student at Highline.

Maintaining balance is important when it comes to mental health, panelists said. Self-care is the best way of maintaining balance for a healthy head space, they said.

Having a list of things you can do for self-care is useful, said Jessica Neilson, a professor in the legal studies program and adviser to the club. Expanding healthy items on your list can be helpful.

“Keeping a good mental attitude is so important because the attitude is in in your control. There are a lot of things that aren’t in your control, but attitude definitely is,” Neilson said.

“One thing that I find helpful is organization. If you’re not organized, you don’t know where anything is. A disorganized place creates a disorganized brain,” said Lelania Rodda, a student on the panel.

People with mental health challenges are struggling through amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Samora Covington, a psychology professor at Highline.

 Some struggle in isolation, but you don’t have to go through it alone, Dr. Covington said. Highline brings students together in different communities to support each other.

“Community is so important with any of your classes. If you’re having a struggle especially in them, reach out to your classmates. Often times they’re going through the same struggles,”

Rodda said.

Some mental health issues could be visible, others are not, panelists said. Advocating for yourself is important in order to have accommodations for your mental health issues.

It’s important to know about your rights, Neilson said. You have to ask for accommodations to get help that suits you.

Support can look and feel different for people. It all depends on finding something that fits you best, panelists said.

“When I do feel supported, in which you have support that listens to you, advocates for you and a large part of that they value there care for you more than their own pride and their own personal opinions,” Desmith said.

Community care is always available at Highline. They can vary from different groups to different resources. The counseling center at Highline can help students with mental health challenges. For more information visit