Actively Moving Forward is a new club here on campus to help support students who are grieving the illness or death of a loved one while going to classes.
AMF is not just a LHU feature, it is a national support network for college students living their daily lives, dealing with the death of a loved one.
Pre-PA Graduate, Emily Nehme who lost her grandfather and wanted a place where she didn’t feel alone started the club last year hoping in the near future it would get approved, which it did in May of 2015.
With the waiting list of students at the counseling services here on campus, Ashleigh Brass, a sophomore studying early childhood education, and Kaitlyn Keck, a senior studying pre-physician assistant, who are the current co-presidents of AMF, would like students to know that there is another place to go and talk.
“I wish I had something that showed me that you aren’t alone and here are 10 other people who know what you’re going through,” said Brass. “I want students here to know that we have that now and it’s new!”
During the meetings, grief isn’t the only thing that is talked about, they talk about triggers, balancing life after losing a loved one, stresses, milestones, holidays and much more. All of these become harder to deal with after losing a loved one and it helps to talk to other people and how they deal with them.
Keck said “We don’t give advice, we are there to support one another and listen” Their goal as a group is to not tell others what to do, but instead give them guidance so they can figure out what they need to do to grieve and to be there to listen.
One of the biggest topics that they talk about during their meetings is suicide; many students have either lost someone, or have thought about committing it. AMF is planning on having a suicide prevention walk to support the students and their members who are going through this.
Along with the prevention walk, they hope to have a memorial Christmas tree during the holidays so that anyone’s loved one can be remembered. They are also doing these as service projects to raise awareness of grieving college students.
“We reassure our members that everything that is said in the room stays in the room, it is very confidential.” said Brass. Students want to feel safe when expressing such personal parts of their lives and that is what Ashleigh and Kaitlyn hope to bring to LHU. “We’re not a club where if you don’t show up to three meetings, you’re out of the club. Every meeting is different and you can come and go as you please. “ said Keck
“We didn’t choose to be grieving while going through college, so hopefully this club can give students an hour to just cry it out and then go back to writing their paper.” said Brass.
AMF meets every other Tuesday at 6:30 P.M. in Raub 206, be sure to go to their next meeting on October 20! For more information, please contact Ashleigh Brass at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kaitlyn Keck at email@example.com.