5 Important New College Mental Health Statistics

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Breaking news: Research shows that improving campus attitudes towards mental health enhances student success AND saves taxpayer’s money!

Let’s be real, all of us who are advocating for mental wellness on college campuses every day could have told everyone that a long time ago… but still, this is a big deal! We now have some solid data that definitely proves that our work is working, and we are on the right track with the most effective approaches to mental health promotion.

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So, here’s the scoop:

A major study conducted at public colleges throughout California set out to assess factors that influence mental health services utilization among students, and the potential societal impact of investing in mental health programs on campus. The RAND Corporation researchers who led the study surveyed a total of 33,943 students, and 14,018 faculty and staff at 39 public universities throughout California.

Here’s what they learned. Continue Reading

March Chapter of the Month: University of Dayton

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Univ_DaytonWe are excited to announce March’s chapter of the month, Active Minds at University of Dayton! They recently hosted a GO LIME Campaign, promoting mental health awareness and Active Minds during an NCCA Division I basketball game against the University of Rhode Island broadcasted on ESPN 2.

At the sold-out basketball game on February 27, the chapter distributed 150 lime green (the nationally observed color for mental health awareness) T-shirts featuring a mental health statistic and the chapter’s logo to alert the audience to the number of people that live with mental illness, the resources available for help, and the Active Minds chapter. Continue Reading

When Masculinity and Racism Collide: Meet Tao Liu’s Mentor Dr. Christopher Liang

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Tao is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Tao and her fellow scholars here.

When I talk about racism against Asian American men with my friends, some reactions I got was “Seriously? This is U.S.” Among those who have awareness of racism, it is hard for them to connect racism and gender together. However, when they start talking about difficulties with finding dating partners, they know what I am talking about.

There are not many scholars researching the intersection of racism and masculinity, especially for Asian American men. Luckily, Dr. Chris Liang, one of the few scholars focusing on this research area, agreed to be my National Mentor.

tao mentorDr. Christopher Liang is a former President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. His research interests center on how perceived racism and masculinity ideologies are associated with the academic, psychological, and physiological health, and health-related behaviors of ethnic minority boys and men. As he said in our conversations, he intends to use research to make positive impacts on communities. He is not a scholar who only lives in the ivory tower, rather, he regards research as a means for intervention on multiple levels.

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Text, Talk, Act. Because Mental Health Matters.

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TTAOften, the most necessary conversations are the ones that are most difficult. Text, Talk, Act (TTA) makes at least one conversation a little easier by assisting students to share their mental health stories through a very familiar platform: text messaging.

Once again this semester, Active Minds is excited to partner with TTA on April 19 as part of Active Minds’ Stress Less Week. Chapters that register to host a TTA event on April 19 are eligible receive a $1,000 cash prize. Past winners have included Active Minds at Coppin State University, Ithaca College, and UCLA!

To participate, all you need is to gather at least three or four friends on April 19, and text “89800” for mental health discussion prompts. You and your friends will be guided through a series of conversation-starters, from videos to polling, along with many other chapters participating across the country.

Want to join this movement? Get started with the three simple steps below: Continue Reading

Worried About a Friend? Here’s How to Support Them

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For most of my life, I’ve wished that I had some sort of a handbook for being a friend. I think I do a pretty decent job (although, I suppose you’d have to check with my friends on that one), but there’s no way to be there for someone perfectly all the time.

I mean, how many times have I told a friend I knew how they felt without really having any idea whatsoever?

How many times have I just jumped to giving advice and solving the problem when all they needed was a sounding board?

How many times did I know someone was struggling, but I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything at all?

The truth is that there’s no perfect way to be a friend, and that’s especially true when you’re trying to help a friend admit they need help, seek that help, get the help, and manage their recovery. There are way too many variables in play.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little guide for that journey?

That’s why we created the Be A Friend resources.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Tao Liu

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Tao is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Tao and her fellow scholars here.

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Hello everyone! I am Tao Liu, a fourth year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Indiana University Bloomington. I was born and raised in a village in Hebei Province, China.

Growing up in a poor family in rural China, I was continuously exposed to inequalities related to poverty, mental disability, rural residency, and female status.  I questioned why women still had to do more house chores after a day of hard work than men, wondered why a homeless man with schizophrenia was only ridiculed but not cared for, and doubted the negative attitudes directed toward my parents when they went to the city in farm clothing.

I even doubted the right of teachers to spank students as a form of discipline.  Listening to my grandparents’ stories of being victimized in World War II, I often wondered how the wounds of collective and personal trauma can be healed.

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An Active Minds Speaker for Every Mental Health Day, Week and Month

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Now is a great time to look ahead and plan your programs through the end of 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, 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!

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Matt Kridel

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Matt is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Matt and his fellow scholars here.

Hey there! My name is Matt Kridel and I’m a second-year PhD student in the Clinical/Counseling Psychology program at the University of South Alabama. I received my B.A. in Psychology in 2014 from Gannon University, where I also helped to revive the 5-star Active Minds chapter. Currently,

I help lead the Active Minds chapter at South Alabama and I’m also a member of the National Student Advisory Committee. I’ve been to the Active Minds National Mental Health on Campus Conference twice, and I can’t wait to go again this year.

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If you can’t tell already, I really love Active Minds. Since becoming involved in my junior year of undergrad, I’ve learned firsthand the impact this organization has on college student mental health. I’ve seen students turn postcards into works of cathartic art through the PostSecretU program. Continue Reading

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Cai Guo

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Cai is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Cai and his fellow scholars here.

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Hello! My name is Cai Guo [pronounced as “Tsai Gwo”]. I am currently a senior Psychology major at Dickinson College, PA. I am originally from Wuhan, China, a gargantuan city with over 10 million people.

I am very interested in the intersection of philosophy and psychology, so I want to explore how people’s conceptual understanding of categories guides their real-life behavior. Interestingly, my academic passion stemmed from my love for the nonpareil German-speaking poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.

Reading about his poignant young adulthood experience at a military school that agonized his poetic, sensitive soul made me wonder why men are expected and stereotyped to be physically strong, tough, and emotionless.

This contemplation gradually led to a deeper conceptual question: do social norms and people’s endorsement of stereotypes come from the abstract, philosophically loaded belief that every category has its own essence that dictates the features of all the tokens (individuals) under that specific category?

With this question in mind, I became especially interested in the mental mechanisms behind social categorization and their relations to the formation of stereotypes, prejudice, bias, stigma, and intergroup conflicts.

So…what do we talk about when we talk about weight bias?

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6 Ways to Practice Self-Care on Valentine’s Day

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Valentines Day_Active MinsdIt’s almost that time of year again, and I’m not talking about tax season. That’s right, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Are you excited? You should be!

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to step away from stress, slow down, and focus on your mental health. This year, celebrate with the following 6 short and sweet ideas for your best (and healthiest) Valentine’s Day yet!

1. Treat Yourself: Plan an activity, take a fun class, pamper yourself, or try something new.

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