January Chapter of the Month: Active Minds at UCLA

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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:

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Chapter of the Month: Occidental College

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1425555_253282681496020_167931192_nOccidental College has been named Chapter of the Month for May! Their stigma-fighting techniques have caught our eye and we want every chapter to know about them, too.

Active Minds at Occidental College did not rest for a minute this spring semester, working continuously to break the barriers to mental health services on campus.

In addition to leading a diverse panel of 10 students who spoke openly about their mental health issues to a large classroom of peers, the chapter was also recently recognized for their on-campus advocacy for the addition of a peer mentoring program in the counseling center.

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Stress Less, Talk More, Change a Life

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TTA_logoAs we begin preparing for final exams and end-of year activities, learning about stress reduction techniques can have a positive impact on our mental health. Now, during Stress Less Week, there’s a fun and innovative way to get your campus talking about mental health and stress management: Text, Talk, Act.

Text, Talk, Act uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on mental health and stress reduction techniques. On April 14th, gather participants in small groups (3-4 people) with one cell phone per group. Text START to the number 89800 to receive a series of text messages that will guide the group through a conversation on mental health: why it is important, how to care for it, and how to help a friend in need. Groups will also talk about ways to reduce stress and receive resources for more information.

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Chapter Ratings: Strong Membership is Key

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This post is part of a series on our Chapter Ratings system. Read more blogs in the series.
UnknownThere’s strength in numbers. When it comes to running a steady and active chapter, a solid group of members and leaders is absolutely necessary. Chapters need to have leaders who are passionate about fulfilling the mission of Active Minds and who are capable of helping their chapter to grow for future members. For that reason, chapter membership is a key component of chapter evaluation.

Active Minds has no requirements about the make-up or structure of student leadership within a given chapter; however, we recommend that a student executive board or a small group of student leaders exists to support the chapter president.

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Chapter Ratings: Lets Collaborate!

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This post is part of a series on our Chapter Ratings system. Read more blogs in the series.
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Establishing partnerships and allies is crucial to running an active, integrated chapter on campus. A part of the mission of Active Minds chapters is to act as a referral service and channel for students to utilize the mental health services on campus. Having a strong partnership with the counseling center helps Active Minds fulfill this mission.

In addition, having a wide range of partnerships on campus helps makes sure that the message and influence of a chapter is far-reaching. For these reasons, the third major criterion the national office uses to rate chapters is collaboration.

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Chapter Ratings: Communication Starts a Conversation

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This post is part of a series on our Chapter Ratings system. Read more blogs in the series.
UnknownWe want to hear from you! Communication between chapters and the national office is critical to ensure that every chapter has what they need to carry out the mission of Active Minds. The national office uses information shared from chapters to assess overall challenges and successes in the network and to create new resources for best supporting your work.

For that reason, communications is the third major criterion of chapter evaluation.

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Chapter Ratings: The Purpose of Programming

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This post is part of a series on our Chapter Ratings system. Read more blogs in the series.
UnknownProgramming is the principal method through which chapters educate, advocate, raise awareness, and promote mental health on their campuses. For that reason, it is the first criterion the national office uses to rate Active Minds chapters.

Overall, Active Minds chapters are seeing success in their programming on campus — 61% reported strong programming in the most recent chapter inventory, and most chapters (73%) have participated in an Active Minds national program in the last quarter.

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Chapter Ratings: What’s the Big Idea?

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This post is part of a series on our Chapter Ratings system. Read more blogs in the series.
UnknownEach summer, the national office uses data reported by chapters in quarterly inventories to evaluate the strength of the chapter network on five major criteria of development, advocacy, and sustainability: Programming, Fundraising, Communications, Collaboration, and Membership.

Based on what has been learned over more than 10 years of experience working with chapters, the national office can then help chapter leaders identify their strengths and areas for growth as well as develop new programs and resources to support areas where the chapter network may be struggling.

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