Psychology Student Passionate About Mental Health Awareness
Hailing from Sedalia, Missouri, Kayla Holland is a recent graduate, earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is a Fast Track student in the Applied Behavior Analysis/Organizational Behavior Management master’s program. Currently, she is the president of Active Minds, a mental health student organization.
What made you interested in your major?
Growing up, I think I always knew I wanted to help people and make a change, but for a long time I tried to deny it and do something else until I moved to Italy for a year. It was in Italy that I realized that making a difference in people’s lives is my calling and I could no longer deny that.
What’s the best part about studying your major at Florida Tech?
My favorite part of Florida Tech is the diversity! I love seeing how many different countries this school is comprised of.
What’s your favorite Florida Tech memory?
My favorite memory was sitting in my first applied behavior analysis class. I knew that ABA would be the key to unlocking my dreams, but on that first day of class it hit me like a brick wall. It was a good feeling knowing I was in the right place.
How do you think Florida Tech is preparing you for the future?
Florida Tech’s Fast Track program is what is really allowing me to advance in my future, along with my adviser. My adviser has opened up so many doors and opportunities I did not know I even had.
What would you like to do post-graduation (if you have an idea)?
Post-graduation I would like to move back home and maybe create my own private practice. Or perhaps continue to make changes in today’s society regarding mental illness and education.
What is Active Minds?
Active Minds is a student-based organization here at Florida Tech. Our mission is to provide resources and spread awareness about mental health.
Why did you get involved with Active Minds?
I originally became involved with Active Minds because I was drawn to its mission and the idea of being involved on campus. But over time our relationship has grown. I am now a part of Active Minds because I want to make a change in how people with mental illness are treated and talked about, as well as how awareness is spread.
What kinds of things does Active Minds do (activities, events, etc.)?
We have a lot of tabling events in which we have fun activities or resources for students. One event we did was “Thankfulness Hands.” During this event, we had post cards students could send to veterans, as well as “hands” to write what they were thankful for.
What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to any student struggling in college?
I think the most important advice I can give to students is they are not alone. I even struggle from time to time, but I get help. I think many people are afraid of counseling, but they don’t keep in mind that even counselors need counseling every once in awhile. It’s like getting a tune-up or a wellness check-up. We think of physical health differently from mental health even they are both very important in our day-to-day functioning.
Why should other students join Active Minds?
Our club is a great way to give back to the campus. You can see the change in people that are touched by our message. Also, it’s a great way to build your resume.
How did your most recent video come about and what was the process like creating it?
This video project was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I wanted to take that challenge. I think the idea really came about because of the influence that I know social media has over our generation. What better way to get an important message out than to have it on the social media sites people use every day. It was actually very hard to get people from different demographics on campus involved either because of the “taboo” topic or busy schedules. But all in all, I am extremely happy with the support and help I received. It has definitely made me a stronger person.