mission and impact

Changing the Conversation About Mental Health

since 2003

Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults

We are dedicated to saving lives and to building stronger families and communities. Through education, research, advocacy, and a focus on young adults ages 14–25, Active Minds is opening up the conversation about mental health and creating lasting change in the way mental health is talked about, cared for, and valued in the United States.

mission & impact

We believe no one should have to struggle alone. By empowering young adults to speak openly about mental health, we can reduce stigma, encourage help seeking, and prevent suicides.

19 years of impact

Active Minds is a national leader for young adult mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Active Minds brings to mental health what no other organization can — the voice of young people who are disproportionately affected by mental illnesses and the way mental health is addressed on campuses and in society at large.

Now in its eighteenth year, Active Minds is present in more than 1,000 schools, communities and workplaces nationwide, including over 600 student-led chapters. Our programs and services empower young adults to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, create communities of support, and ultimately save lives.

An approach that works

What has guided and distinguished us from the start is a belief that young people will be the drivers of change.

 

Active Minds’ Organizational Values        

For nearly twenty years, Active Minds has worked to change the culture around mental health in classrooms, workplaces, and communities nationwide. As we continue on our journey, we are committed to upholding the following four values, which serve not only as a guide to the work we do and the solutions we pursue but also as well as a framework for fostering anti-racist and inclusive communities that prioritize mental health. Learn more about each of our values below.

 

BE RADICALLY AUTHENTIC.

Our words and actions are real: approachable, reassuring, and practical. We all have mental health, and we meet our community where they are, exactly as they are. The community we inspire brings their whole selves, and are respected for their unique expertise – which includes lived experience. All are welcome and the way we communicate affirms that.

EMPOWER THE COMMUNITY.

We actively listen to each other and amplify our community. We value partnership and recognize that our ideas are better when perspectives from up, down, and across the team and community are sought, heard, and considered. We raise each other up to ensure all voices are heard.

PURSUE SMART, BOLD INNOVATION.

We shape the next-gen social norms and solutions for mental health to continuously and boldly evolve. We are driven by our “why” and are committed to excellence as we respond and adapt with agility. We are forward-thinking, and always learning.

INSPIRE EQUITABLE AND JUSTICE-DRIVEN ACTION.

An emotionally healthy world is not possible without a just world. We believe that equity and social justice are paramount to our work and we use that lens as we look to make change in our world.

As we continue to grow and learn as an organization, we will continue to revisit our values to ensure they are always in line with the communities we serve and the goals we set for ourselves. Thank you for being a part of our community.

Each year, more than 15,000 young adults join Active Minds as passionate advocates and educators for mental health. Our advocates encourage their peers and networks to learn about, talk about, and seek help for mental health issues just as they would for a physical issue, without shame or silence.

This peer-to-peer approach is unique to Active Minds and one that works.

Our Impact Report

We publish an Impact Report each year to share our progress in changing the conversation about mental health. Take a look!

One data point: 67% of young people tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else. Another statistic: Students are 20 percent more likely to receive treatment on campuses that are perceived to be supportive of mental health issues than not.

Our approach addresses individual needs as well as the overall culture in the community, workplace, or campus. We build strong and supportive environments where anyone who needs help, seeks help, with confidence.

We are on a mission to save lives. By 2022, we intend to double our reach to 1,000 total campuses.

Active Minds Strategic Plan: 2017-2022

Our Strategic Plan

To guide us into a new future, we developed an ambitious, five-year strategic plan. We intend to double our reach to hundreds of thousands more students and 1,000 total campuses. This is our commitment — to reach as many teens and young adults as possible so they can benefit from our vital programs and services.

Anti-Racism & Inclusion Action Plan

An emotionally healthy world is not possible without a just world. Following our publicly shared Statement on Racism, the Active Minds team created and now regularly reviews and updates an action plan to ensure we are, and will continue to be, an anti-racist and inclusive organization.

LANDMARK STUDY ON ACTIVE MINDS’ IMPACT

Research from a landmark study by the RAND Corporation confirms what we’ve always found to be true — that Active Minds has a significant, positive impact on student health and well-being by creating a supportive climate for mental health on college campuses.

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Our Story

Creating hope out of tragedy: read Active Minds’ inspiring story.

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Thank you to these students and chapters for providing beautiful photos of their campus-based work for our latest Impact Report:

Cover photo: Kiernan Bloye, Active Minds at Brown University (RI). Inside front cover: Jasmine Modasi photographed by Annie Lin, Active Minds at Western University (Canada). Timeline: Send Silence Packing® exhibit at Mt. San Jacinto College (CA) photographed by Becky Fein; Send Silence Packing exhibit at Syracuse University (NY); Active Minds at Brown University; Active Minds at Stockton University (NJ), photo by Nathan Morell. Inside back cover: Syracuse University; Western University; Active Minds at Ithaca College (NY).