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: Five-Star Fundraising

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This post is part of a series on our Chapter Ratings system. Read more blogs in the series.
UnknownFundraising is crucial to boosting mental health advocacy on campus and sustaining a chapter over time. Each dollar earned makes a chapter — and a chapter network as a whole — that much stronger. For that reason, fundraising is the second major component of chapter evaluation.

Feel like your chapter is struggling to raise funds? You are not alone! 72% of chapters reported fundraising as a challenge in the most recent inventory.

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Program Bank Spotlight: Mental Health Wellness Week

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10733927_706286976134195_6470171923032618527_oLast semester, Active Minds at the University of Michigan hosted a Mental Health Wellness and Speaker Event. During the event, Active Minds members brainstormed with other students ways in which they can relieve stress throughout the school year and hosted a Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience graduate student speaker, Daniel Porter.

The chapter set out to reach their entire student body by hosting an event on the campus’s most visited area, the Diag, directly in the middle of Central Campus. Continue Reading

How to Rock Recruitment this Fall

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10644040_351747688314568_1834791899_nRecruiting new members during the fall semester can be tough — there are so many other clubs and activities to compete with. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Your school’s student orientation fair is a great place to recruit members and Active Minds Suicide Prevention Month campaign this month is a fantastic way to spread the word about your chapter. 

Use our materials and resources to organize your own campaign.This year’s theme is Silence Hurts us All and we are excited to announce our new corresponding social media campaign, #ReasonsISpeak.

Here are some tips you can use to boost your membership this fall: Continue Reading