Chapters Team – Active Minds Blog Changing the conversation about mental health Wed, 21 Dec 2016 21:09:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What We Learned From Your Fall Inventory Feedback Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:17:23 +0000 fall-inventory_blog_title

Thank you to the 250 chapters that completed their fall inventories! This semester you hosted 742 events and reached more than 101,000 students with mental health resources. Chapters reported their top strengths to be leadership, collaboration, and programming, and almost 30% of chapters are planning to expand their reach, or already have, by pursuing policy or institutional change.

As always, we have resources to help you out as you begin the new semester! Every chapter has a chapter fundraising page ready to be customized and shared so you can fundraise via email and social media. Every chapter can also access our Transform Your Campus Toolkit to get guidance, direction, and support for policy and institutional changes that you want to see on your campus.

As you head into January, refresh yourself with our Chapter Resources to make the spring your best semester yet!

Giving Tuesday Contest on Nov 29: Earn Prizes! Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:00:37 +0000 givingtuesday_chapters_bannerHey stigmafighters! We wanted to let you know about a brand-new initiative we’ve created to help chapters fundraise that will take just ONE day of your time and will help earn prizes for you and your chapter, including a FREE awareness campaign kit like the one you received in the mail earlier this semester.

This Tuesday, November 29, join Active Minds in sharing why campus mental health and the Active Minds movement are important to you. Share your story with the hashtag #BecauseofActiveMinds along with your chapter’s online fundraising page, and you and your chapter could win a prize. See below for the three simple steps.

How to Participate:

Step 1: Create a Personal Fundraising Page.
Find your chapter’s online fundraising page here. Select your chapter’s name. On your chapter’s fundraising page, select the button “Create a Personal Page.” Complete the online form and you’re done! (Don’t see your chapter’s fundraising page listed? Or found it but want to change the photo and/or text? Contact us at for help!)

Step 2: Customize Your Personal Page.
This handy guide and the Chapters Team ( are here to help!

Step 3: Promote your Personal Page on Social Media with the Hashtag #BecauseofActiveMinds.
On Giving Tuesday (November 29), post a photo (using our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram templates), a link to your fundraising page, and the hashtag #BecauseofActiveMinds.

Prizes Awarded to:

  • The CHAPTER raising the MOST online donations for Active Minds on Giving Tuesday.
  • The INDIVIDUAL raising the MOST online donations for Active Minds on Giving Tuesday. 

For more information, contact the Chapters Team at

October Chapter of the Month: IPFW Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:00:34 +0000 stomping-ipfwCongratulations to October’s Chapter of the Month, Indiana University — Purdue University Fort Wayne! All of us at the national office are so proud of what they have accomplished on their campus. They have truly done a terrific job raising awareness and getting their peers to fight stigma.

One of their initiatives this fall was a “Stomp Out Stigma” campaign. IPFW Chapter members had some paint, a banner, a strong message, and a boot. Students were asked to figuratively, and literally, “stomp” out the stigma that engenders a negative view toward mental illness. These boots were not made for walking… they were made for stigma fighting!

therapy-dog-ipfw Other amazing achievements include “Laugh More Game Night,” providing information about Active Minds to freshmen at orientation, tabling for suicide prevention week – which also included community performers and poets. (And this is all since the beginning of this school year!)

In the past, IPFW has demonstrated their ability to involve students outside of Active Minds, using their ingenuity to attract students of all kinds! Ideas like therapy pet events, share a smile, positivity note chains, wing nights, and movie nights, have made their chapter a clear presence on campus.

Not only have they successfully advocated for mental health on campus, but they also take part in the initiatives of the Fort Wayne community. Last year, they participated in a suicide prevention walk, which was organized by Fort Wayne. They also had a poignant fundraising campaign in which they sold purple utility flags to commemorate lost loved ones.

Some of their other countless endeavors include Valentine’s Day candy gram fundraisers, holding discussions regarding eating disorders during Eating Disorder Awareness Week, participating in IPFW’s Wellness Fair, a Bowl-a-Thon, helping with the a walk for eating disorders, Stress Less Week, and many more. The faculty and students of IPFW are aware of Active Minds and the role the chapter plays. The chapter has advocated for and achieved policy change on a campus-wide level; they are in the final stages of adding the number for a suicide-prevention hotline to the back of student IDs. Additionally, they have been invited to events and asked to contribute whenever the topic of suicide prevention comes up. This awareness has led to a growing interest and buzz in regards to the conversation about mental health. IPFW also has a grant called COMPASS training, which trains individuals to aid in suicide prevention. Many of the Active Minds chapter members have taken the training and have done their part in promoting it to others.

suicide-prevention-week-ipfw share-a-smile-ipfw

It is also notable to mention that IPFW manages to successfully run their Active Minds chapter and engage other students on a commuter campus! (This is no easy feat.) Chapter President, Manal Saeed, attributes their successes to the contributions of chapter members. “Thankfully there are great members that are always bringing their A-game, and [are] ready to go with great energy and initiatives that are new and upbeat, and keep our campus as well as our community hungry and excited for more.” She also stated that much of their ability to connect and attract members is the way in which they approach them. “Our biggest help is not telling them to join yet another organization, but [to] join a family of fun and incredible experiences.”

It is easy to see why Active Minds at IPFW does such a great job! The way Manal speaks about the dedication and passion of her fellow members reflects the highest degree of respect. However, she does continue to stress the vital role that student advisor and counselor Floie Stouder plays. “She is the best part of our chapter, and we, the officers, are super lucky to be working with her, and aren’t able to put into words how much she has supported us and how much we appreciate her dedication to our chapter!”

stomp-out-stigma-ipfwThank you Active Minds at IPFW for all that you do for your community! We are certain that this school year will be filled with even more successes and strides towards eliminating the stigma. Keep it up!

Congratulations to our September Chapter of the Month, University of Kansas! Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:44:38 +0000 sept-ku-chapter-of-the-month-9%2f16%2f16-1-1

Our chapter at the University of Kansas has been up to some great things lately!

The University of Kansas has co-founded the Douglas County Suicide Prevention Coalition, a local non-profit in the Lawrence area. There are monthly meeting that the University of Kansas Active Minds takes part in with various representatives from around the community.  The Douglas County Suicide Prevention Coalition is dedicated to putting on events to spread outreach and that aim to better educate the area.

The University of Kansas has also been in the process of partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to co-sponsor a speaking event in the Lawrence area.

Along with working in their community, the University of Kansas Active Minds has also done so much to help those who are struggling with mental health on their campus.  The Active Minds chapter at the University of Kansas has worked, and is still working, to change housing policies so that students requiring leaves of absences from school for mental health reasons were not under threat of eviction.  They also recently held a successful co-event discussing sexual abuse and mental health.

In the upcoming months, University of Kansas Active Minds is working with their on-campus health center and Timberline Knolls to get 2008 Miss America, Kirsten Haglund, on campus in February to discuss her struggle with an eating disorder.  

Kirsten Haglund was 19 when she became Miss America, making her one of the youngest women to win the title ever. She has used her time as Miss America to talk about a platform very important to her: eating disorders.  According to Haglund, her eating disorder began at just 13 years old, while in an intensive ballet program.  Once Haglund’s mother realized how much of an issue her daughter was having, she was put into an intensive outpatient program.  She left her ballet company and began to focus on her recovery and getting healthy.

Through this process, she began competing in beauty pageants.  Her doctors were worried that these would trigger her anorexia, however Haglund saw it differently.  Through pageants, she was able to tell her story, providing dialogue to an issue that is often not spoken about, especially in the pageant world.  Many girls approached Haglund, confiding in her that they had also been through the same thing.  Hanglund was, and still is, an inspiration to those who have struggled with an eating disorder.  The University of Kansas Active Minds is so excited to have this event with Miss Haglund in February.  

Finally, Active Minds at the University of Kansas would like to start the process of trying to add emergency and crisis numbers to the back of the KU student ID cards.  By doing this, every single student would have access to mental healthcare help whenever they needed it.
We here at Nationals are so proud of all the great work the University of Kansas chapter is doing.  We can’t wait to see and hear all about their continued success in helping to end the stigma on mental illness across their campus.  Keep up the great work y’all!

Congrats 4 & 5 Star Chapters! Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:00:09 +0000 Active Minds is proud to recognize our 2015-2016 4 & 5 Star chapters! These chapters have demonstrated exemplary work on their campuses changing the conversation about mental health. Learn more about chapter ratings criteria.

1 2

IMPORTANT: Election Season Reminders for Chapters Mon, 05 Sep 2016 19:12:22 +0000 It’s fall, which means it’s the season for receiving tons of important reminders as the new school year begins: don’t get locked out of your dorm room, don’t forget to check the syllabus, don’t forget to register for our upcoming National Conference (that one will be fun, we promise!).

But, we need to remind you of one more important topic this season: election and campaign guidance for chapter members of non-profit organizations.

Active Minds Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As such, we are Federally tax exempt, which means that we do not have to pay taxes on our revenue. This translates into more money to support efforts to reduce stigma, raise awareness and change the conversation about mental health.

In exchange for our tax exempt status, we must abide by certain rules, including acting in a non-partisan manner at all times. The IRS considers all Active Minds chapters and chapter members—that’s you!–as volunteers of Active Minds, and therefore, requires us and you to uphold certain standards around political campaigning as official representatives of Active Minds.

In a nutshell, the IRS rules require Active Minds chapters, chapter members and advisers to keep their Active Minds activities completely separate from any politically campaigning you may do for any candidate for elected office: the President, a member of Congress, governor, mayor or even a local school board member.

So, as you continue your vital work on campus this semester, here are some quick tips and reminders of things you can do to support our compliance with those standards and our efforts to continue to provide new, engaging and exciting ways to impact mental health on more than 400 campuses across the globe.

What This Means for Chapters

Do Not:

  • Do not use your Active Minds chapter social media accounts to share political campaign information or viewpoints, show support for a candidate or invite people to a political campaign event.
  • Do not put up political campaign posters or engage in political campaign discussions in your Active Minds office, meeting or event space.
  • Do not invite political candidates to make campaign speeches at Active Minds events.
  • Do not wear Active Minds gear if you are engaged in any political campaign activity, such as canvassing door-to-door for a candidate for office.

This will ensure that people understand that you are talking to them as an individual and not as a representative of Active Minds.

What You Can Do:

  • Do wear Active Minds gear to any official Active Minds event.
  • Do use your personal email and social media accounts to correspond with political campaigns as a private citizen.
  • Do use your non-Active Minds related time to volunteer for a political campaign if you choose.
  • Do be clear that your personal political views and actions do not represent Active Minds.

Following these basic tips will ensure that people you’re talking to understand that your personal views and opinions about candidates, issues and campaigns are not necessarily the views of your chapter or Active Minds Inc.
Thank you for helping us make sure we’re complying with the standards and that we continue to provide the services and programs you’ve come to know and love. If you’re not sure about any of these points or want to check in to make sure that what you are doing is permissible, please don’t hesitate to email us at

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

  • IRS Guidance:
Could This Be the Most Important Month of the Year? Tue, 16 Aug 2016 12:07:09 +0000 We think so. You probably do, too.

Suicide Prevention Month (Sept 10 – Oct 3) is when Active Minds and many other organizations say as loud as we can that suicide is preventable. Join us this month in spreading this hopeful message! Here’s

Active Minds’ Suicide Prevention Month kicks off on September 10, and there are several new, exciting ways to get involved! This year’s theme is The World Needs You Here, and we are excited to announce our first-ever chapter fundraising product, The World Needs You Here bracelets (see below for details!). Start getting ready for Suicide Prevention Month today:

1. Order “The World Needs You Here” Bracelets: Sign-up for a box of FREE bracelets (shipping/handling not included) to sell on campus to raise funds for suicide prevention through Active Minds, Inc. All proceeds will benefit the Active Minds national movement and will be credited to your chapter’s national fundraising goal.

2. Download the toolkit: Download Active Minds’ free Suicide Prevention Month toolkit, which includes a programming & prevention kit, panel discussion guide, and social media tools. We’re also co-hosting a Twitter chat with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on Friday, September 9 (World Suicide Prevention Day) from 1-2:30 pm ET. Join us!

3. Take the Kognito Challenge 2.0: Active Minds is teaming up with Kognito once again to bring the Kognito Challenge 2.0. Campuses with Active Minds chapters will have free access to Kognito’s At-Risk for College Students interactive simulation to help peers in distress. The first 40 chapters to train 50 students plus a faculty/staff member will receive $250 credit toward their national chapter fundraising goal.

4. Watch Please Like Me: Bring an episode of Pivot TV’s critically acclaimed show,Please Like Me, to your campus! Season 2, episode 7 puts issues of suicide, bipolar disorder, depression, and grief right up front. Access the episode and discussion guide to bring this important discussion to the forefront.

5. Be a Friend: You can help your friend or family member by recognizing the signs of mental health issues and connecting them to professionals for help. Check out our new Be a Friend resources for tips to start the conversation and support a friend through recovery.

Let us know what your chapter is doing for Suicide Prevention Month, and we’ll share it with other chapters on the Active Minds Chapter Network Facebook Page!


8 Ways Active Minds Chapters Can Get Ready for the Fall Semester Tue, 09 Aug 2016 12:04:27 +0000 WelcomeBackEmailHeader

With September right around the corner, now is a great time to start planning for your chapter’s success in the 2016-2017 academic year. Here are some of our top tips for getting the year off on the right foot:

1. Study up on the new ratings criteria. We heard your feedback on ratings, inventories and more. Check out the new ratings to make sure you’re on track to be a five-star chapter!

2. Start planning Suicide Prevention Month. Share a post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr from September 10 to October 3 with #ReasonsISpeak and the reasons you combat the silence surrounding suicide and mental illness. Feeling inspired? Submit a post to our Suicide Prevention Month blog.

3. Check out the new and improved Fundraising Resources, including brand new chapter fundraising pages. Will your chapter be the first to raise $1,000 and get on our leaderboard?

4. Like the Chapter Network Facebook page. We regularly post tips on mental health programming, news articles about your fellow chapters and more. It’s also your go-to spot for connecting with other chapters.

5. Register for the #StigmaFighter event of the year: the 2016 National Mental Health on Campus Conference will be held November 4-6 at Sacramento State. Register beforeOctober 4 to get your Early Bird Ticket discount.

6. Schedule your first general meeting of the semester to welcome new members. Need help? Take a look at our tips for running effective meetings.

7. Check out our brand new webinars, including a Chapter President’s Hangout and trainings on Talking with the Media about Active Minds and Community Based Fundraising. Check back throughout the fall for new webinar dates, topics, and recordings of previous webinars.

8. Email the Chapters Team with any questions, concerns, updates and brainstorming support anytime throughout the year.

We know the new school year can be stressful, whether you’re going to college for the first time or returning for another semester – so don’t forget to check on your own mental health!

Celebrating the 2015-2016 Chapter Fundraising Results Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:31:20 +0000 You did it! Over the 2015-2016 school year, Active Minds chapters raised more than $94,000 (surpassing the national goal by $14,000!) to help bring Active Minds to a growing number of schools, support Active Minds’ expansive programming, and ensure the future and success of our mission. In fact, we opened 72 more chapters this past year, thanks to your help!

By supporting Active Minds, you helped to bring mental health education, resources, and training opportunities to more than 5 million students (and counting!). Thank you for supporting these life-saving efforts that help change the conversation about mental health across the globe.

Congratulations to the top 10 fundraising chapters and the 114 chapters who earned an expanded awareness campaign kit in the mail this fall for raising at least $300!

To learn more about chapter fundraising and resources, click here!

Chapters: 7 Things to Do Before the Semester Ends Wed, 11 May 2016 15:53:29 +0000 You’ve planned events, raised money, tabled, chalked and truly engaged your campus in conversations about mental health. Finally, the end of the year is here and we want to congratulate you on all your hard work! Whether you’re graduating or just wrapping up the school year, we need you to check off a few last items before you check out for summer.

This will be your to-do list soon!

1. Seniors: Provide us with your permanent contact information for once you leave school. Your school email address will expire eventually and we want to stay in touch. Pass along this form to the other seniors in your chapter so they can stay connected to Active Minds!

2. Help us bring Active Minds to more students next year! We still have $30,000 to go before we reach our national fundraising goal. By raising at least $300 by June 30, you’ll earn your chapter an expanded awareness campaign kit this fall and a higher chapter rating. Submit your funds online or by mail by June 30.

3. Ask family and friends to donate to national mental health awareness through your fundraising page as a graduation gift to you.

4. If you have been managing your chapter’s fundraising page, e-mail us to let us know who will be taking your place next year.

5. Send us a testimonial. Has Active Minds made a difference in your life or had an impact on your campus? We’d love to hear from you! If you’re interested in sharing your experiences, send us your story.

6. Have contacts with your school’s administration? Let them know you’re graduating and introduce them to your new leaders so those relationships can continue.

7. Make sure you remember to fill out your Summer Chapter Inventory and update your leadership’s contact information when you receive it on Monday, May 16.