A DMAX Club is…
a student led, mental health related social club on college campuses, that fosters the mission of DMAX Foundation: to eliminate stigma and encourage safe and caring conversations about mental and emotional issues in our youth. Clubs create an environment for students to get together and talk about how they are doing, how their friends are doing and how they can help each other. Clubs are for all students – those that may be concerned about this issue for themselves or others; and those that are facing mental health issues, emotional challenges or are experiencing stress related to being a college student. DMAX Clubs are for Conversations That Matter, fun, food and activities that are related to mental health. The clubs create an environment for Friends Helping Friends.
A DMAX Club is a fantastic medium for students to engage with each other, enabling social support and self-empowerment. While some peer groups involve a leader imparting and helping its members, the DMAX Club model involves all of the members and leaders helping each other and influencing the direction of the club topics, activities and event. DMAX Clubs are not just about sitting around a circle talking about topics, but also involve activities, both educational and fun. Some students may be more comfortable sharing with others when they are sitting around talking about a particular topic, while others may open up to someone while at a pancake breakfast, playing frisbee or attending an educational program. DMAX Clubs provide an environment where discussion, fun, food and activity combine to enable students feel like they can be who they really are and don’t have to hide how they are really doing.
DMAX Clubs follow a simple and effective model. The Club student leaders are trained by their campus counseling center on
○ active listening
○ campus emergency procedures
○ recognizing when referrals are necessary and knowing how to make them
○ avoiding engaging in “therapy”
The student leaders impart the learnings of the training to other members of the Club so that they all become familiar with the training and help to create a trusting, comfortable environment for each other. In addition, club members may also be provided with the same training by the counseling center.
DMAX Foundation has created two manuals for use by students who wish to start a DMAX Club. The first is called How to Start and Operate a DMAX Club. The second manual, Tips Topics and Tactics is a detailed reference guide to possible topics, activities and events.
In addition, each year DMAX Clubs will host one or more events from a menu of activities provided by the DMAX Foundation. These events can be offered to a broader audience on campus or even campus-wide. They may include student speakers, a challenge day, a “friend”-raising and fundraising event, and other activities that help raise awareness and eliminate stigma around mental and emotional troubles.
If you would like a DMAX Club at your school, here’s how.
For more support, please visit Half of Us at http://www.halfofus.com to find someone to talk to.
To learn more about depression, mental health challenges, and emotional troubles and what to do if you need help, go to: http://www.helpguide.org/index.htm
If you or somebody you know is in immediate danger of suicide, please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 right away for help.