meet Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon is the Founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization promoting mental health awareness and education for young adults.

Alison formed the organization in 2003 as a 21-year-old, following the suicide of her brother and only sibling Brian. Wanting to end the silence that caused her brother to suffer alone and ultimately take his own life, Alison created a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania to promote open dialogue around mental health.

Since then, Active Minds has grown into the country’s foremost mental health organization for students and young adults, with a vibrant network of chapters and award-winning programs at more than 1,000 colleges and universities, K12 schools, workplaces, and communities nationwide. Read more about Active Minds’ inspiring story »

Alison lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is a wife and mother of three young girls. In her spare time, she loves flying 23 feet in the air at the Trapeze School in Washington, DC.

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Screenshot of Alison CBS Care

Active Minds’ innovative approach attracts much media attention for both Alison and the organization. This CBS Cares spot still runs today.

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Awards and Advisory

Alison has received numerous awards for her pioneering work. She was named one of the “Top 15 Global Emerging Social Innovators” by Ashoka Changemakers and American Express, Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine, and a Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women.

Active Minds received the Change Maker Award from the Child Mind Institute and Alison received the Compass Award from the Peg Foundation, the Destigmatization Award from the National Council of Behavioral Healthcare, and the inaugural Young Leadership Award from the National Mental Health Research Association.

Alison is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee, Suicide Prevention Resource Center Steering Committee.


William A. Walther, Sara Abelson & Alison Malmon (2014) Active Minds: Creating Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Awareness, Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 28:1, 12-22, DOI: 10.1080/87568225.2014.854673