mental health advocacy online

changing the conversation

Each year, Active Minds’ 16,000 student leaders impact 8 million young adults with programs, campus policy changes, and advocacy efforts to change the culture around mental health. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most are adjusting to online learning — but our mental health advocacy efforts do not have to stop!

We need your help: join Active Minds in supporting your campus communities during this time of physical distancing. 

For a limited time, Active Minds is opening our exclusive National Chapter Network resources to young adults, students, and related groups of all types to learn how to be there for your peers in these difficult transitions and new remote learning situations.

We hope you will take advantage of these live opportunities to learn tips and tools for online mental health advocacy.

Self-Care Resources

Check out this list below for free resources to help you press pause and take time for you.


Student Slack Channel

ALL STUDENTS are invited to join the Active Minds Slack Network. Chat with student leaders about promoting mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join the Slack Channel

Virtual Check-Ins

Schedule a video call with Active Minds National staff to talk about ways you can be engaging your peers.

Schedule check-in

Improve Campus Mental Health Culture while Remote


1. Design Creative Programming

Each year, Active Minds Chapters directly reach 500,000 people through our programs. Consider these ways to continue your work while social distancing in remote learning situations:

  • Engage an alumnus, grad student, professor, or another guest speaker to discuss relevant topics.
  • Discuss how we can be present for one another, even in the face of physical distancing. Consider practicing (and training others on) techniques like V-A-R.
  • Connect students with local resources to support basic needs, such as food, housing, personal loans, and more.
  • Launch an email newsletter for your chapter that includes updates for your group, new online meeting details, self-care tips, and community resources.
  • Support your fellow students during this challenging time by sharing mental health tips and inspiration through your campus community digital digest or listserv.
  •  Host a Snapchat conversation, or a Twitter chat to share jokes, tips, or a common hashtag.


2. Distance… but Stay Social!

We all need to be part of the solution to this pandemic, so follow the advice of experts and keep your physical distance.

However, social connection is vital to mental wellness, so find new ways to keep connected!

→ Virtual trivia nights
→ Group Netflix screenings
→ Photo or social media graphics challenges
→ Virtual fitness classes
→ Tik Tok face-offs
→ Crafting tutorials
→ Instagram Story games
→ Bob Ross virtual paint night
→ Virtual coffee, lunch, or dinner “meet-ups”
→ Group check-ins or meditations


3. Share Remote Resources

A recent RAND Corporation Study showed that the presence of an Active Minds Chapter on campus measurably improved a student’s help-seeking behavior. Don’t let that progress slide!

  • Work with your campus counseling center to learn what options for services will be available to students during the online learning period and help spread the word about those services through email, your social media accounts, campus listservs, etc.
  • Share tips for dealing with stress and school closures. For stories you can share, visit the Active Minds Blog.

Want to Help?

Active Minds is rapidly providing our network with modified programs and services to support their peers and now-distanced campus communities at a time where this is needed more than ever. Help us support them with an urgent contribution today.

Support Active Minds Right Now

V-A-R in Quarantine

Social connection is vital for mental wellness. If you know someone who is struggling, consider using the V-A-R conversation guide to listen in a way that let’s the person know they’re being heard and they’re not alone.

1. Validate their feelings

Let them know what they’re feeling is okay and that you believe them. Validation sounds like…

  • “That makes sense.”
  • “That sounds difficult.”
  • “I’m sorry you are struggling right now.”

2. Appreciate their courage

Speaking up can be a challenging step — let them know it’s a good one. Also show you’re there to support them. Affirmation sounds like…

  • “Thank you for sharing.”
  • “You are not alone.”
  • “I’m here for you.”

3. Refer them to skills and support

Let them know help is available and refer them to appropriate resources. Refer sounds like…

  • “Could we schedule a video chat and walk so we can see each other while we get some fresh air?”
  • “I’ve been using this meditation app while stuck at home. Does that sound like something that might be helpful for you right now?”
  • “I think it might be helpful to talk to someone. I can stay on the phone with you while you text the Crisis Text Line.”

If you are worried that someone may be considering suicide, find support immediately by texting “BRAVE” to 741-741. Stay connected with them until they are safe.

Self-Care Resources

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