A social movement usually starts with a seemingly simple idea fueled by passion and a steadfast belief in the power of small shifts to make big change. That is the origin story of Active Minds and the spirit of our chapters, which makes up the driving force of this movement of compassionate advocacy.
Last year, 41 Active Minds chapters reported participating in institutional change efforts. These efforts included having mental health crisis resources printed on ID cards, ensuring suicide prevention training for faculty, and expanding access to counseling services. These chapters are augmenting their awareness efforts by working with other student organizations and campus administrators to change the policies and procedures that regulate the campus mental health climate.
Drawing on the ingenuity of our student leaders, the expertise of campus administrators, and the expansive skill sets of Active Minds staff members, we are launching a new program that puts all necessary resources into the hands of students to make change.
We are helping students transform their campuses.
Transform Your Campus is an all-inclusive set of resources designed to take student leaders of any experience level through all of the steps they may encounter in their advocacy campaign.
The goal of Transform Your Campus is to help students confidently navigate the existing campus structure and culture. It is not the goal of the program to set up student leaders and administrators as adversaries. Rather, we facilitate their collaboration. This is because we believe deeply that cooperate collaboration ensures sustainable change and eases the way for future student advocacy.
When you go to www.ActiveMinds.org/Transform and sign up to access the resource kit, you’ll find resources arranged into eight topical categories—each critical to the advocacy process. I encourage you to look through all of the resources and consider your plan of action.
At any point along your advocacy journey, you can access support from one of our Transform Your Campus staff experts, Laura, Maggie, or Robyn, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll also see a category called “Featured Campaigns.” The resources you see in this section are tailored to specific changes chapters frequently choose to pursue. These specialized resources, used in combination with the entire Transform Your Campus kit, give advocates a head start on their work.
So what about those chapter leaders who aren’t sure they have the skills to lead an advocacy effort? What about leaders who are seeking a group of supportive peers who will listen and answer questions? We have exciting news! This October, Active Minds will launch its first online course called “Transform You|Transform Your Campus.”
The course will teach students basic leadership skills through discussion and practical application. Upon completion of the course, students will not only have another item for their resume, but they will be better chapter leaders and advocates.
Transform You|Transform Your Campus is a six week online course with a cohort model. That means each course will have the same small group of students, working at the same pace, participating in discussions and creating strong connections with leaders across the country.
I am proud of Transform Your Campus and excited for the opportunities it brings to our chapters to make sustainable, positive change.
I look forward to reading about all of the brilliant changes you make in the next year as we all work toward the goal of healthy campuses for all.