TNCC Promotes Mental Health Awareness During Free Seminar

Published: April 1, 2010

Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) Disabled Student Services team aims to increase mental illness awareness with two free seminars. Set for Monday, April 12 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., the sessions will be held in the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium, Templin Hall, Hampton campus.

Alison K. Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds, Inc., will share personal stories and encourage open dialogue to combat the stigma associated with mental illness on college campuses. Malmon started her first mental illness awareness organization, Open Minds, in 2001 as a junior at the University of Pennsylvania after the suicide of her 22-year-old brother. The death of her only sibling prompted Malmon to create an organization that would push for early detection and treatment of mental illness, thus, preventing others from suffering in silence as her brother did.

In 2003, Malmon transformed Open Minds into Active Minds, Inc., a national nonprofit organization with student-run chapters on college campuses across the country. Each chapter uses seminars and other events to increase student awareness of mental health issues. The student leaders also serve as liaisons between students and mental health professionals and encourage their peers to seek help as soon as possible.

Active Minds, Inc. has been featured on CNN and “Good Morning America,” as well as in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Malmon’s many accolades include: Washingtonian of the Year (2007) by Washingtonian Magazine, Citizen of the Year (2008) by the Potomac, Maryland Rotary Club, and a Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She has also received the Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award from the National Mental Health Association, inaugural Young Leadership Award from the National Mental Health Research Association (NARSAD), and was named the first-ever Montgomery County Public Schools (MD) Distinctive Alumnus in 2007.

In addition to leading Active Minds, Inc., Malmon sits on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Leadership 21 Committee, Bringing Theory to Practice Project Planning Committee, and Students of AMF Board of Directors.

For more information about Malmon’s presentation, please call 825-2867. For more information about TNCC’s Disabled Student Services, please visit


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