Active Minds Blog » fundraising Changing the conversation about mental health Wed, 25 May 2016 12:46:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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.

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Chapter of the Month: University of Portland Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:39:50 +0000 UP AMWe are happy to announce our wonderful chapter of the month, Active Minds at the University of Portland! The University of Portland has created many new initiatives to reduce the stigma around mental health and, most impressively, has not even celebrated their one year anniversary yet.

UP AM3Active Minds at the University of Portland had a unique start. The chapter co-president, Jesse Dunn, stood up to the administration at the university and demanded that there be more conversation about the mental health in light of his friend’s suicide. Dunn, among others, was extremely disappointed by the portrayal of the death as anything but a suicide.

The university’s lack of mental health discussion led Dunn to feel like the university was further contributing to the mental health stigma. Therefore, he decided to start an Active Minds chapter with friends to raise awareness about mental health issues and to provide a platform for further discussion. This year, Dunn was a recipient of the University of Michigan’s Student Mental Health Advocate Award. This award is given to those who demonstrate exceptional mental health awareness/advocacy at their universities.

“I met so many phenomenal, passionate people, and I learned quite a bit about depression and other mental health issues on college campuses. Receiving the award and getting to give a speech at the luncheon was a spectacular moment. It allowed me for one of the first times to really reflect on the work that Logan and I have done over the last year. It’s all stuff that we are intrinsically motivated to do, but it undeniably has been a lot of energy” Dunn said.

But the awards don’t stop there. Co-presidents Logan Crabtree as well as Dunn have received the Rev. John Van Wolvlear, CSC, Student Affairs Award. These awards further highlight the tremendous impact Active Minds has had at the University of Portland thus far.

After a successful editorial that launched Active Minds at the University of Portland onto center stage the chapter began to collaborate with the student newspaper to write a weekly “Let’s Talk” column to share stories and encourage others to seek help. Additionally, the chapter is has podcast interviews with the members that shared their stories.

The chapter has held many events this year but two stand out as unique: “Affirmation Grams” and a “Battle of the Bands Event”. Students were able to purchase a $1 “Affirmation Gram” to have a nice note get delivered to their friends to brighten their day.


The Battle of the Bands was a creative Active Minds fundraiser scheduled for April 1st, where anyone could compete–even with air guitars! Winners were awarded prizes and food/raffles were provided for all. Rock on!

We can’t wait to see more of the amazing work Active Minds at the University of Portland will do!

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Kognito Challenge Update: Save Lives and Raise Funds for Mental Health Wed, 30 Mar 2016 12:40:23 +0000 Kognito SM ImageWe’re only one week into the Kognito Challenge, but we are already seeing amazing results!

Overall, 85 schools have reached more than 1,200 students via Kognito’s At Risk for College Students mental health simulation, which is free to all schools with Active Minds chapters until April 26. The online, interactive experience teaches participants how to identify and assist students in distress.

As of the time this post was written, 18 schools had completed the full Challenge, each training at least 20 students plus their Active Minds chapter advisor or Counseling Center Director. Those schools have earned a $250 credit toward their national fundraising goal for mental health awareness and the Active Minds movement.

There are still 12 spots left to become one of the first 30 schools to complete the Challenge and earn a fundraising credit. Here are a few creative approaches chapter members have taken to encourage participation:

UM Facebook Event1. Create a Facebook event for the Challenge and invite friends.

Active Minds at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and at the University of Pittsburgh have tapped into their social media networks to spread the word by creating Facebook events for the Challenge. The University of Michigan also created a short link for the training at

2. Send an e-mail to the school listserv.

Several schools have sent the Kognito simulation link to their campus listservs, inviting all students, staff, and faculty to complete the course

Jefferson Game Simulation3. Give out free food or candy in exchange.

Active Minds at Jefferson College re-branded their Kognito Challenge as a “Game Simulation Marathon” and distributed candy in a central area on campus as a way to draw students to their table and ask them to complete the simulation.

4. Incentivize with gift cards.

Several chapters are raffling off gift cards to participants. Contact the Chapters Team at if you would like assistance with choosing recipients from the participant list.

Kognito SM Image 25. Require RAs to take the course as part of their spring training.

Active Mind at Cabrini College is working on incorporating the Kognito simulation into spring RA training. To count for the competition, each RA needs to complete the course, so it is recommended that RAs bring their own laptops to the training or attend part of the course in a computer lab.

6. Team up with professors to provide extra credit.

The Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama is offering course credit to students who complete the simulation.

7. Incorporate it into your other programming.

The University of Pittsburgh is allowing participation in the Kognito Challenge to qualify students to be acknowledged as completing the chapter’s upcoming campus-wide mental health unity pledge.

There’s still plenty of time to get involved and train your peers to help students in distress! If you haven’t started yet, take the course today and share it with students on campus before the free course expires on April 26!

Contact the Chapters Team at for support.

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Fundraising from the Heart: Meet Mary Carver Deal Wed, 23 Mar 2016 12:34:18 +0000 5d177d_b6764c38305c43d68f3092857e6a61de

Mary Carver Deal is a senior in high school from Charlotte, North Carolina. Two years ago, she lost a close friend to suicide. Since then, she has become a committed mental health advocate. Mary is bringing attention to suicide prevention and mental health by using her passion for art to fundraise for Active Minds.

Mary’s community anguished over the loss of one of their bright young students. They came together to honor his memory by fundraising with t- shirts, bracelets and baked goods, donating the proceeds to Active Minds. After about a year, Mary noticed that the fundraising and support efforts had ceased. She wanted to keep the momentum going forward, and decided to use her artistic talents to plan an art show to benefit Active Minds.

Through her art shows, Mary has contributed nearly $4,000 to her friend’s Active Minds memorial fund.

Mary hosted her first show in May 2015. She expected to see high school friends and classmates, but found an unanticipated level of interest throughout the community supporting her cause. Thirteen other students donated art pieces that were themed towards mental health subjects, and many more asked to help.

At the show, countless adults and students approached the young artists, sharing their personal experiences with suicide loss and expressing their appreciation and support for their inspiring efforts. Mary was surprised to learn how many people were personally affected by suicide, and their stories galvanized her decision to increase awareness and support in the community.

Back at her high school, Mary has witnessed major changes in mental health awareness. After initial hesitation from the administration, a suicide prevention club was founded, and Mary serves as its co- president. Mary also advocated for better counseling services, and the school added an extra trained counselor specifically for kids to talk to about personal problems.

The overwhelmingly supportive response to these efforts have made it clear that students want and require a space to openly talk about mental health. They may not feel comfortable speaking to teachers or parents about everything they are going through in adolescence, but need a way to express their emotions and experiences and respond in a healthy way.

Mary recognizes the need for change in the way our society handles mental health. She hopes to convey to her peers that they are not alone in their struggles. She emphasizes the need for depressed or lonely teens to speak up and reach out to friends, family, or someone at school. She hopes to get through to parents who may be afraid of the stigma surrounding mental health, and encourages them to seek help and provide support if their child is having mental health problems.

Mary’s fundraising efforts help bring mental health into everyday conversation, and her art show is a great example of a way to reduce stigma in the community. Mary shows that anyone can advocate for mental health by channeling their personal passions towards important causes, like Active Minds.

Active Minds admires her unique, creative fundraising approach and we can’t wait to see what she inspires others to do for raising awareness and funds to support mental health advocacy.

Mary remains hopeful and optimistic about the future. She hopes that by bringing awareness to suicide prevention and mental health efforts, more people will be educated and will be advocates as they go through life. She sees the changes in her peers, and hopes that her generation will be the one to put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health.

Mary plans to attend college in the fall and hopes to channel her interests and skills by becoming an art therapist. She continues to raise money for Active Minds and is changing the mental health conversation every day.

If you would like to learn more about Mary’s art shows, please check out her website.

To learn more about how your Active Mind’s Campus Chapter or how your local community can fundraise to support Active Minds, please contact us at or call our office at 202-332-9595 and ask to speak to our development department.


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Kognito Challenge: Train Your Campus for FREE Mon, 14 Mar 2016 10:37:12 +0000 Kognito-Facebook-1

We have exciting news! Active Minds is once again teaming up with Kognito —this time with an opportunity for chapters to earn fundraising credit up to $1,000 AND train students and faculty to support students in distress FOR FREE.

For a limited time only, March 21 through April 26, Active Minds chapters will have the opportunity to participate in a competition to get as many people as possible on campus to complete the At-Risk for Students training for FREE.

Prizes are as follows:

  • The first 30 chapters to (a) get their Advisor, Counseling Center Director or Associate Director AND (b) at least 20 students on their campus to take the At-Risk for Students training will receive a $250 credit toward their fundraising goal with Active Minds, Inc.
  • The chapter that gets THE MOST people trained will receive an additional $750 credit.
  • The second place chapter will win an additional $500 credit.
  • The third place chapter will win an additional $250 credit.

At-Risk for College Students is used by more than 400 colleges and universities, and is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), as well as in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry (SPRC BPR).

A longitudinal study of 270 students at 20 institutions of higher education that used Kognito’s At-Risk for College Students found a statistically significant increase in students’ motivation and skill to identify, approach, and refer fellow students. These increases remained statistically significant at three-month follow-up point.

The study also found that, as result of the simulation, students reported a statistically significant increase in the number of fellow students they connected with and referred to support services. It also found a significant increase in the likelihood that students who took the simulation would seek out help if they begin to experience psychological distress.

To learn more about the competition, visit

To learn more about At-Risk for Students, visit

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7 Chapter Fundraising Ideas for the Spring Semester Thu, 03 Mar 2016 14:51:25 +0000 unnamed

There’s still time to earn more FREE swag in your fall awareness campaign kit. Raise $300 for the national movement by June 30, and help reach 2.3 million+ students!

We need every chapter member to play their part in reaching the growing number of students who need critical mental health education and resources provided through Active Minds, Inc. Participation in fundraising is required, and every dollar counts! Read more about the fundraising requirements.

Here are seven ways to round out your fundraising this spring:

1. Send letters in March to five friends and family to share the impact Active Minds has had on your life and request donations of at least $20 each.

2. Charge a small fee for a popular Stress Less Week (April 17-23) activity or two. Hosting a stress-ball-creation station? Charge $1 to cover your costs and bring in a little cash! Passing out healthy brain food in the quad? Advertise a suggested donation.

3. Request Insomnia Cookie donations to go along with a Stress Less Event you’re hosting and allow students to pay $1 to send a cookie with a “good luck” message to a friend ahead of finals.

4. Apply for a Chapter Development Grant to support a fundraising idea. Here’s one: Sell self-care packages (with donated items from a local business) to parents who want to support their students during finals.

5. Partner with a local restaurant in April to share profits one evening from all customers who mention your chapter at check-out.

6. Organize a raffle fundraiser with donations from local businesses or the campus bookstore, and sell 50 tickets for $1 each to earn a total of $50.

7. In lieu of graduation gifts, ask friends and family members to donate to your chapter’s online fundraising page. Here’s how to set one up!

Don’t forget to share your fundraising success in our Program Bank. Contact the Chapters Team to talk more about fundraising and learn more about the resources and support available to help!


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Chapters: What Does Your Fundraising Money Support? Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:35:37 +0000 400pluschaptersThe Active Minds network is growing rapidly! On average, we are opening five new chapters a week and fielding requests from many others working on joining in the near future.

In order to support our increasing number of chapters and expansive programs and ensure the future and success of our mission, we need everyone’s help.

When you support Active Minds, you are helping to bring mental health education, resources and training opportunities to 2.3 million students (and counting!).

Thank you for supporting these life-saving efforts that help change the conversation about mental health across the globe. Check out our new infographic below for more details.



Want to help continue the Active Minds national movement? Get started at and contact the Chapters Team at for assistance.

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We Want to Send You More #StigmaFighter Swag Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:05:34 +0000 unnamed

Every day, more schools like yours are interested in starting Active Minds chapters. The demand for our programs and services is growing (just last week we registered a new chapter in Cyprus. Yep, Cyprus. The country!) and we are limited only by funds.

To meet the growing demand for more Active Minds chapters, we need everyone’s help. We’re still $47,395 away from our chapter fundraising goal this school year to serve the 2.3 million students (and counting) who depend on our critical mental health education and resources.

We appreciate your hard work and your part in supporting the growth of the Active Minds movement.That’s why every chapter that raises at least $300 by June 30 will receive double the #StigmaFighter buttons and Help a Friend pocket guides — valuable resources for campus work — in their chapter’s awareness campaign kit this fall.

If you need some ideas to help you get there, check out our expanded fundraising resources below or email

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January Chapter of the Month: Active Minds at UCLA Fri, 29 Jan 2016 17:41:24 +0000 11999046_1061565100521832_7075910831010947224_nThis month we highlight the stunning work of Active Minds at UCLA.  This chapter is one of just six celebrating ten years as a member of the Active Minds chapter network and have shown why they remain strong time and time again. They serve as a model for other chapters in our network and we’re happy to share just a few of the reasons that Active Mind at UCLA is making huge strides in campus mental health work:

 Featured on Buzzfeed:

Did you know that Buzzfeed recently had a Mental Health Week where they featured articles, videos, and stories about what it’s like to live with a mental illness? The Active Minds chapter at UCLA got some serious recognition for the video they created demonstrating What It’s Like to Hear “Just Get Better.” Check it out:

  1. Leading the way:


The chapter’s leadership team is unstoppable. Active Minds at UCLA has over 100 members in what they lovingly refer to as their “army of stigmafighters.” That can be a lot to manage, but the leadership team has it on lock. They organize by committees for Events, Workshops, and Education and shift priorities to adapt to the needs of the UCLA community as a whole. The committees are able to conquer challenges, respond to different communities, and keep the chapter running smoothly and efficiently.

  1. Programming with a purpose:


Active Minds at UCLA has literally dozens of programs that deserve their own featured place from Dueling with Dementors to their Mental Health Awareness Fair but one of our favorites is their Self Care Kits. When the chapter started this program the kits were intended to be stress less packs but decided to focus on self care and more holistic practices of wellness rather than just stress reduction. The hoped to encourage students to learn their own best self care practices by assembling kits with donated materials such as  cashew butter, water bottles, journals, bubbles, sleep masks, candles, small stuffed animals, marbles, crayons, play-doh and more.


  1. Fundraising prowess:


Winning the 2013-2014 Active Minds Fundraising Innovation Award wasn’t the peak for this team. The chapter continues to make big strides with the program they have continued to adapt and grow, the iSupport Bracelet Campaign. This campaign features handmade friendship bracelets that the chapter created to show love and support and to help build awareness for different mental health conditions. Each color was tied to a specific mental illness and each bracelet came with an information card so people could continue to learn more. They’ve upgraded their infrastructure, they’re reaching out to new markets, and they’re growing something that they know works. Active Minds at UCLA continues to raise over $1,000 a year with this method and has even helped create a guide to doing this program so other chapters can follow suit. Check it out!

Congratulations, Active Minds at UCLA, we continue to be impressed and inspired by your work and can’t wait to see what’s next this semester!

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Fundraising Through Yoga and Celebrating Self-Love Thu, 28 Jan 2016 13:21:16 +0000 Beats, Pray, Love Yoga Participants

Beats, Pray, Love Yoga Participants

On January 17, Active Minds was honored to be a part of a yoga fundraiser hosted by Annie Shiel, owner of Annie Shiel Yoga. Her Beats, Pray, Love Series was a “self-love” themed flow session, and was set to the live vocals of Kylie Conibear, plus a guided savasana meditation session at the end with Joanna Andreae of Wandering Wellness. It was a relaxing and powerful expression of self-love and focus on positive body image.

Class was free, and donations of $20 were encouraged at the door. All proceeds went to Active Minds, Inc. to support our work on mental health, suicide prevention, body image, and reducing the stigma of mental illness on high school and college campuses. The yoga class raised an amazing $400 through donations at the door! If you missed the event and still want to participate, you can still donate on the event page here: Beats, Pray Love Series: Self Love Flow- Donations go to Active Minds.

Savasana meditation session with Joanna Andreae

Savasana meditation session with Joanna Andreae

When we asked Annie why she chose Active Minds as her nonprofit to support through this event, she told us that our organization had been recommended to her because of our focus with youth, mainly college-aged adults, and that we had a great reputation with her colleagues.

Thank you to Annie Schiel and her group of very talented and supportive Yogies for making this happen! We appreciate the financial support and the the support of our mission. We couldn’t continue our work without the help of our dedicated volunteers, students and community members.

This is a great and easy way to fundraise for our cause. To learn more about how you can host a similar event on behalf of Active Minds, please reach out to us at:, or at 202-332-9595.

This was the second installation of Annie’s Beats, Pray, Love Series, a monthly community event bringing together live music, yoga, and our best intentions to create change both on and off the mat. To learn more about Annie Sheil and her Yoga events, classes and inspirations, check out her website at:

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