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The Aquilian

    Gonzaga students push for mental health awareness with The Toilet Paper

    Members of the Active Minds club pose for a photo at the 2021 club fair. (Photo Submitted by Charlie Meyer)

    You may have seen the papers put up on all the walls and stalls in the bathrooms around campus. Most people disregard these posters as just another sign put up by the school. “The Toilet Paper,” however, is a product of the Active Minds club at Gonzaga,  which is part of a nation-wide organization devoted to spreading awareness about mental health and where students can find help when needed.

    Class of 2021 students Luke Elliot, Jack Ronca and Jack Doolin, along with faculty moderator and freshman religion teacher, Mrs. Laura Gengler Hudson, helped start the Gonzaga chapter in 2019. They decided to create a Gonzaga branch of the Active Minds organization in order to help spread mental health awareness into our Gonzaga community. They hoped to help Gonzaga students become more aware of the resources at their disposal.

    “All we do is serve the community and the mental health of the community. We strive to spread mental health awareness at Gonzaga by means of education and advocacy. Our goal for this organization stems from our own personal experiences. We want to spread awareness and erase the stigma around mental health,” Mrs. Gengler Hudson, religion teacher and moderator, said.

    Charlie Meyer, senior and member of the Active Minds club,  believes that Gonzaga students do not use these resources to their potential and may not even be aware that help is just at their fingertips. He hopes to help students begin to get to know their counselors, trusted adults and their peers to reach a level where they are comfortable sharing and asking for help when needed.

    “We don’t think [students] use all of the resources they have: counseling department, trusted adults, talking with friends, etc.,” Meyer said.

    The club has some aspirations and dreams for the future. They want to run a spirit week at some point during the beginning of the school year. They also hope that with the Gonzaga chapter being a part of a larger organization creates a much bigger sense of community that the current club wishes to tap into. They want to expand outside of just Gonzaga and begin to work with other schools and groups.

    “[We] want mental health to be taught in freshman health/freshmen foundation classes and for students to use their counselors to the fullest,” Meyer said.

    Their main focus at the moment is to keep their main source of contact, “The Toilet Paper,” up and running. They want to possibly even expand and have a whole area solely devoted to the students, as a space where they can unwind, talk freely and feel supported and secure. The Active Minds club hopes to continue producing its “The Toilet Paper” issues every month to help spread awareness of mental health in a community that needs the extra help to be able to assist each other and feel comfortable seeking help on their own.

    If students are interested in joining the club, want to work on “The Toilet Paper,” want to suggest new ideas or would like to discuss mental health, please feel free to stop by on Thursday Mornings at 8 a.m. in Mrs. Hudson’s class,  room 108.


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    • P

      Pam ValeirasFeb 15, 2022 at 12:05 pm

      Nice article! Great idea to link to the National Active Minds site. Good use of quotes. Very informative. Thanks!

    • C

      Carol CorganFeb 15, 2022 at 11:44 am

      Devin–I’m a great fan of Ms. Hudson’s “Active Minds” guys. They do wonderful work. Where would we all be if not for their putting together the calendar + block schedule every quarter?