Author and Active Minds speaker Stacy Pershall will discuss her experiences and promote mental health awareness in SUNY Oswego’s Sheldon Hall ballroom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Pershall lives with borderline personality disorder, has struggled with eating disorders and is a suicide attempt survivor. She has become an in-demand speaker on mental health and authored the memoir “Loud in the House of Myself.”

According to the Active Minds website, “her presentation focuses on bullying (including cyber-bullying), eating disorders, distinguishing Borderline Personality Disorder from Bipolar Disorder, the power of mental health activism, and body modification as a healing agent.”

Lil Bresee –- president of Pride Alliance, the SUNY Oswego student organization coordinating the event –- said having a speaker from Active Minds is a great thing for students.

“It’s difficult to have mental health discussions,” said Bresee. “I feel like we don’t have a lot of bodies for that.” 

Bresee looked up a sample of Pershall speaking before accepting the host position of the event. They said they thought Pershall was a great speaker.

“It’s really, not so much easier, but I think it's a bit of relief when you understand that other people have experienced these things too, and they’ve figured out how to make things alright for themselves,” said Bresee. 

Pershall found recovery through dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), used to help individuals recover from various mental health issues. She is able to provide a firsthand perspective on DBT as a way of treating borderline personality disorder. 

Active Minds was founded around 20 years ago by Alison Malmon after her brother committed suicide. Since then, this organization has done events on over 1,000 campuses to spread information on mental health.

Active Minds’ mission is to change the way mental health is discussed. Their speakers work to educate people and they focus on young adults from the ages 14 to 25 years old. They want to make lasting changes in the way mental health is dealt with overall in the United States.

The Counseling Service Center at Mary Walker is also helping host the event. It is sponsored by the Garrett Lee Smith Grant administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA).

SAMHSA’s mission is to improve services and expand upon knowledge about college student mental health relating to substance abuse, mental health and suicidal ideation and behaviors through research.

A sign language interpreter will be provided. For other requests requiring needing accommodations to attend, contact Kristen Mattison (

–- Written by Gabrielle Kroeger of the Class of 2023