mission and impact
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.
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 nineteenth 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.
As we work to change the culture around mental health in classrooms, workplaces, and communities nationwide, we are committed to upholding these core organizational values:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
8+ million students
impacted by Active Minds' presence on campus
600+ campus chapters
at high schools and colleges nationwide
each year for mental health awareness and action
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.
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.
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® display at Mt. San Jacinto College (CA) photographed by Becky Fein; Send Silence Packing display 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).