Field of Flags brings awareness

Active Minds took over Lawther Field on Thursday to spread positive messages to those struggling with their mental health.

ERIN KAMP and TEHYA TOURNIER

Active Minds, a student organization that emphasizes the importance of mental health, hosted the Field of Flags event at Lawther Field on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The event included positive messages on flags and a bake sale. 

The Field of Flags event uses 1,100 flags placed onto Lawther Field to represent the lives lost to suicide annually. Participants are encouraged to stop by and write down a positive message or inspirational affirmation and place one of the flags in the field. 

Active Minds is a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of mental health among college students.  This organization was founded by Alison Malmon in 2003 after the loss of her older brother by suicide. Now there are hundreds of chapters across the country on college and high school campuses helping spread awareness and giving support. 

The president of UNI’s Active Minds chapter, Molly Steffen, said it is important to have Active Minds on campus because so many students deal with mental health struggles. 

“It’s just helpful to have the option of being in a group where you’re working and socializing with people who may be dealing with the same issues as yourself,” she said. 

Steffen said the event had a great turnout, and there were so many positive words left out on the field for those on campus to see. 

“It means so much to be able to be a part of this and be a part of something for students on campus to make a difference and raise awareness on an important topic.” 

She continued, “I think a lot of people stopped by to participate or look. There were a lot of flags out just to show people are here, and you aren’t alone.”