Below are projects that students in the program have developed.
Destigmatize Mental Illness: Reject the Silence
The "Reject the Silence" video project was produced with the help of many enthusiastic community participants and was completed in partnership with GW's University Counseling Center and Active Minds.
In the most basic sense, the video used simple slips of paper to symbolically represent the all-too-real impact of stigma surrounding mental illness -- hurt, pain, isolation, and fear, to name a few -- and how this leads to forced silence for those suffering from illnesses. Participants were invited to bring their own experience and input into the short film by choosing their descriptors, and this brought a very personal and intimate feel to the video. Ultimately, this video is a plea to the greater community to speak up and encourage our neighbors to seek help; as the motto of Active Minds states, "Stigma is shame. Shame causes silence. Silence hurts us all."
So help us challenge the stigma around mental illness. Break the silence. Speak out.
"Reject the Silence" was produced by undergraduate student Michael Kessler of The Make It Known Project. Interested community members are free to firstname.lastname@example.org if they wish to get involved.
Maggie Sexton: Making History at The George Washington University
Maggie Sexton chose GW for our veterans program, but her passion for service is what makes her a Colonial. Before arriving at GW, she had spent two years with her family working at HIV/AIDS orphanages in Romania and then completed two tours of duty in Iraq with the US Marine Corps. With her past experience and the mentorship of her professors in GW’s human services program, Sexton should have no problem channeling her passion into creating real change for women in developing countries.