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 students

We are dedicated to saving lives and to building stronger families and communities. Through education, research, advocacy, and a focus on students and 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.

Two students holding signs

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

16 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 fifteenth year, Active Minds is at more than 600 colleges and high schools nationwide, including 450 student-led chapters. Our programs and services empower students 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.

Each year, more than 15,000 students join Active Minds as passionate advocates and educators for mental health. Our students 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 student-to-student 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 students 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 campus culture. We build strong and supportive communities.

We are on a mission to save lives. In the next five years, 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 recently completed 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.


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Our Story

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

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There are so many things you can do and ways you can help!

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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).