Monday, March 10, 2008

Alison Malmon is a role model for all of us


I am a huge fan of Alison Malmon. She is the 26-year-old executive director of Active Minds on Campus, a support network of more than 100 college campus chapters that help individuals with mental illnesses, support their family and friends and work to generally improve mental health on college campuses. I originally met Alison when a friend was applying for a position at the growing Active Minds headquarters in Washington. Since then, we arranged to have the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance-Northern Virginia and George Mason University's Office of Disability Services, to have Alison speak on campus in February. Alison started Active Minds after her 22-year-old brother, Brian, who had schizoaffective disorder, committed suicide in March 2000 while on leave from Columbia University. Alison was a student at the University of Pennsylvania at the time. We just wrapped up lunch at Georgia Brown's in DC, and it looks like Alison has plans to create similar chapters in high schools. For now, anyone on a college campus who needs help or wants to help, let me recommend checking out the Active Minds site and finding (or founding) a chapter on your campus.