A secret is no longer a burden once it’s lifted from your shoulders.
Gannon University’s chapter of Active Minds, a student-led organization which promotes mental health education and awareness, is participating in the nationally recognized PostSecret program with its own local program, dubbed “PostSecretU.”
The movement was originally created eight years ago by Frank Warren, when the PostSecret founder provided an address for participants to send their postcard secrets. Since then, the project has grown steadily to what is now seen as both an emotional cleanse and a unifying college event.
At the local level, PostSecretU allows Gannon students to submit a notecard with any secret they need to release with complete reassurance of anonymity.
Between now and Friday, April 19, students can pick up self-addressed Active Minds PostSecretU postcards from the group’s table in the Waldron Campus Center, fill it out and deposit in the campus mailbox. The Student Health and Counseling Center, located in the basement of Harborview Apartments, will also accept PostSecretU cards.
PostSecretU has already collected several hundred postcards from students. According to Jenna Dunning, the president of Gannon’s Active Minds, a table at Get Rec’d netted 50 cards, while an official launch event Friday at The Knight Club attracted a crowd of 200 participants.
Many students find themselves intrigued by the anonymity of the concept, which Dunning called a “therapeutic practice.”
Luis Pontillo, a senior theatre communications major, said he felt relieved after participating in the launch Friday.
“It was something that was in the back of my head and I felt like writing down my secret was like telling someone without actually having to share,” Pontillo said.
Dunning said that all of the secrets Active Minds has received may appear overtly different, but they affect each individual in similar ways.
“The secrets themselves apply to everyone, they’re universal,” Dunning said.
“Many of us carry secrets that make us feel ashamed or that we simply would be embarrassed to admit to others.
“PostSecretU aims to break down those barriers by creating a safe, comfortable and anonymous space to share your secret.”