8 Ways Active Minds Chapters Can Get Ready for the Fall Semester

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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?

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Chapter Summer Tips for a Successful Year Ahead

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Alexander Graham Bell (you know, the guy that invented the telephone) once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” He was a pretty successful guy, so it might be best to prepare for this upcoming year in order to have a great year on your campus!

In order to help you out, the Active Minds Student Advisory Committee and National office have a few tips to help keep you active this summer so you can hit the ground running as soon as school begins!

Chapter Summer Success Tip #1

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Make at least one goal to accomplish this year. It can be anything from holding the biggest event your chapter has ever planned to increasing your membership, or even collaborating on an event with other student organizations. Whatever it is, don’t forget to map out smaller, reachable goals to help you stay on track! Continue Reading

Chapter of the Month: University of Portland

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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.

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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

Kognito Challenge Update: Save Lives and Raise Funds for Mental Health

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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. Continue Reading

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Send Silence Packing: Meet the Coordinator

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Lee (far left) with fellow Active Minds staffers during the Fall 2015 tour.

Meet Lee Duffy-Ledbetter. He’s the coordinator of Send Silence Packing, Active Minds’ traveling exhibit of 1,100 backpacks, representing the number of college students who die by suicide each year. In just a few short weeks, the spring SSP tour will kick off and travel to 12 states throughout the south.

But before that happens, we wanted to introduce you to the guy who runs one of Active Minds’ most popular programs:

Lee first became involved with SSP in 2014. Prior to working at Active Minds, Lee studied economics at George Mason University; he also spent time volunteering with a local mental health support group. It was during this time that Lee developed a passion for starting the conversation about mental health with young adults. Continue Reading

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

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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Mental Health Monologues at Winona State University

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MHM 2015Active Minds at Winona State University recently won Active Minds’ Programming Innovation Award for their mental health story-sharing program, the Mental Health Monologues (check out their videos)! Based on the highly popular Vagina Monologues, students, faculty, and staff (some as actors and others as authors of the stories) brought mental health struggles to life by reading personal experiences with mental illness  in a theatrical setting.

The overall goal of this program was to “erase the stigma surrounding mental health and show that there is hope of treatment and recovery for mental illness.” They hoped that this emotionally-charged public presentation of personal stories would reveal the ways in which mental illness affects different people, whether they are personally struggling or supporting a loved one.

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November Chapter of the Month: Active Minds at Stockton University

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Stockton AMThis month we’re excited to highlight the amazing work of Active Minds at Stockton University, the 2013-2014 Active Minds Chapter of the Year, for their amazing campus mental health work including their innovative program, Proactive Minds. Read on for some of the top reasons that Active Minds at Stockton University is excelling in changing the conversation about mental health!

A Thriving Leadership Team Spreading the Word

Stockton PicActive Minds at Stockton University has a thriving executive board made up of eight members from multiple academic years and has increased their general membership to nearly thirty members. They work very closely with their passionate advisor, Nathan Morell, and the Wellness and Counseling Center to recruit new members and hold relevant, large-scale events. Under their leadership, the chapter has reached more than 650 people through fundraising walks, art shows, and panel discussions. Plus, they already have a list of more than 75 volunteers who want to help out at their events this year!

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