12 Ways to Promote Mental Health Awareness on Your Campus



Now’s a great time to look ahead and plan your programs through the end of Fall semester and beyond; if you’re looking for a way to promote your Active Minds chapter on your campus, and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention, consider hosting an event around one of the mental health awareness campaigns coming up!  Let Active Minds Speakers Bureau provide a presenter on one of the topics being highlighted, and remember– when you book an AMSB speaker, your chapter will receive programming credits toward your annual fundraising goal!

It’s not too late to organize an event around National Depression Screening Day®, Oct. 6 or World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10; Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place Oct. 2-8; all of the Active Minds speakers talk candidly about the impact of mental health disorders on their lives, and the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.  Continue Reading

May Chapter of the Month: University of Pennsylvania



Congratulations to the chapter of the month, Active Minds at the University of Pennsylvania. Active Minds’ founding chapter has done an impeccable job at raising funds and awareness for mental health this year!

At the beginning of this semester, Active Minds at the University of Pennsylvania held an event called ‘Push Against Stigma’. Students recruited sponsors to participate in a push-up contest to raise money and promote conversation about mental health. This chapter awarded gift cards to the winners of the three different categories: most push-ups, most sponsors, and most money raised. The Krispy Kreme fundraiser allowed Penn students to have something that most college students want-pre-ordered food. A portion of the proceeds went to Active Minds.

Separately, the chapter also hosted a Krispy Kreme fundraiser to provide students with that they want most: pre-ordered food! The chapter donated a portion of the proceeds to Active Minds, Inc. All told, the chapter has raised $1,000 so far for Active Minds, Inc. and mental health awareness!

Upenn 1

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Mental Health News Round-Up: Feb 27


The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Graham Moore Gives the Oscar’s Most Moving Oscar’s Acceptance Speech

When accepting an Oscar for “The Imitation Game,” Graham Moore disclosed a past suicide attempt and then gave hope to “kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere” to embrace differences and weirdness.

7 Ways the Media’s Depiction of Eating Disorders Completely Fails Women of Color

Trigger Warning: Graphic Images and unhelpful phrases

Women of color are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders.  This author argues that more diverse representation in the media and debunking common misconceptions will increase the number of women of color working toward recovery.

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#EDAW: How to Be There for Someone with an Eating Disorder


National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is February 22-28. All week long, we’re bringing you blog posts specifically on eating disorder awareness and recovery.

Eating disorders are complex mental health issues that have serious physical health implications. No one deals with their eating disorder in the same way, but here are some general tips for being there for a friend.

DO keep inviting them to do things.
A lot of people who struggle with eating disorders have a tendency to isolate themselves, so they’re going to turn down your offer a lot. Keep inviting them. One of these times, they’ll say, “yes,” and that can do a lot of good.

Mindy Project | Dragged Me Out

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#EDAW: My Alcoholism and Eating Disorder


National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is February 22-28. All week long, we’re bringing you blog posts specifically on eating disorder awareness and recovery.

photo-300x300I am in recovery from both an eating disorder and alcoholism — and I am not alone. About 50 percent of those of us who struggle with eating disorders also abuse drugs or alcohol, compared with nine percent of the general population.

If you search the web for co-occurring eating disorders and substance abuse, you will find a lot — I mean a lot — of articles about the term “drunkorexia,” specifically referring to college students. I want to emphasize that “drunkorexia” is a non-clinical buzzword that has cropped up, particularly in mainstream media.

The term may be flashy, and may be a short, easy-to-use word for writers, but it overlooks the aspect that eating disorders are not a choice. The idea behind this word is that people will engage in eating disorder behaviors in order to drink more, attempting to “compensate” for the alcohol consumed. Continue Reading

#EDAW: You Don’t Need to Be Perfect



“You don’t need to be perfect; You just need to be there.”

I came up with this tagline for Active Minds’ observation of Eating Disorders Awareness Week a couple of years ago because a) it seems to sync well with the personal stories of people I’ve met, and b) it works on a couple different levels. Allow me to explain.

You don’t need to be perfect.

Hey, you — yeah, you, the one who is wired like me.

Maybe you’re toying with disordered eating, or you’ve already descended a distance down into the black hole that is an eating disorder, disconnecting from everything and everyone you love as you fall deeper: You don’t have to be perfect.

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How to Spread the Word About Your Active Minds Chapter



Struggling to get the word out about your chapter? You’re not alone. Nearly 31% of chapters identified outreach and marketing as a challenge in the Winter Inventory and we’re here to help.

For Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 22-28), we’re providing chapters with a free Action Kitthat includes a set of downloadable resources to promote your chapter and educate your peers.

Download the #EDAW Action Kit today! Here are five ways to publicize your chapter using the kit:

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Chapters 101: February Fundraising Ideas


imagesFebruary is the perfect time to get your fundraising efforts off the ground for this semester. Eating Disorder Awareness Week is held February 23 – 28 and Valentine’s Day (as we all know) is coming up on February 14.

Here are two ideas to raise awareness and funds in February.

Restaurant fundraisers: Talk to local food joints that are located around your campus to see if you can host fundraisers. Normally, you do not need to pay anything for these fundraisers. Here’s how it works: you do some marketing for the event, get a large group of people to eat at the specific place you chose (let’s say you chose Subway) and because of the large influx of customers, the shop gives you a percentage of the revenue they make in the hours  designated for your fundraiser.

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Program Bank Spotlight: Simmons College Smashes Scales


Program bankFor the last two years, Active Minds at Simmons College in Boston, MA, participated in Eating Disorders Awareness Week by smashing individual weight scales. The Speak Out and Smash a Scale event targeted the entire student body to educate, advocate, spread awareness, and build membership recruitment. The destruction of the scales symbolized shattering stigma surrounding eating disorders and personal body shame and self-doubt.

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How to Prepare for Eating Disorders Awareness Week


NEDA Awareness Week



From Feb. 22-28, chapter members and mental health advocates around the country will participate in National Eating Disorders Awareness week.

Active Minds’ theme this year — “You Don’t Have to Be Perfect, You Just Have to Be There” — emphasizes the importance of being supportive of someone else struggling and also being there for yourself.  If you’re looking for ways to start planning for the week, we’ve put together a list of awesome resources to get you prepared to host great programs and educate your community about eating disorders.

1. Active Minds’ Eating Disorders Awareness Week Resources have valuable information on how you can be an advocate and ally on your campus.  We’ve put together an Action Kit including statistics to inform, social media tools and more. Request the Action Kit today and look into booking one of our awesome speakers to educate  your campus about eating disorders.  Continue Reading