When I founded Active Minds nearly twenty years ago, a few things were clear to me. First, we needed to open up the conversation about mental health — stigma was incredibly pervasive, and far too many people were struggling in silence. Second, I knew where I had to start: college campuses. Young adults were going to be the ones to change social norms because as a generation we just weren’t afraid of talking about mental health anymore, and as a recent college grad myself, I was confident that the conversations we started among our friends would have a ripple effect on communities nationwide. Today, while norms have changed and the desire to talk about mental health is far more common than it was when I started Active Minds, the second part of what I knew then remains true: youth and young adults, today’s Gen Z, are continuing to be catalysts for change.
That’s why, for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Active Minds is working directly with Gen Z. We’re teaming up with youth and young adults nationwide to say, “Let’s Talk About Mental Health.” And we don’t just mean talking about statistics — we mean talking about advocacy, community care, legislation, careers, and all the other ways mental health intersects with the various parts of our lives. We know that just like how mental health can’t be confined to just one month, it also can’t be compartmentalized into just one part of our life. Together, we can…
- Advocate for legislation like the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, which would create grants to enhance services for school-age youth with mental health and behavioral health issues.
- Move beyond self-care to community care, by utilizing community-based programs available to start real conversations and offer continued support.
- Continue our mental health leadership beyond our student years by exploring the possibility of bringing it into our future career with the help of a new career exploration tool from Active Minds launching this month.
Want to get involved, starting right now?
If you’re a.) part of Gen Z, b.) passionate about creating lasting mental health change, and c.) want to team up with us this month to start conversations in your own community, I encourage you to sign-up here to receive updates from Active Minds throughout the month of May (and beyond!). By signing-up, you’ll be the first to know about exclusive opportunities, events, and resources to help you become a better advocate for mental health.. Share the link with your circle too — we want as many advocates involved as possible. We also encourage everyone (including our non-Gen Z friends!) to follow this month’s conversations on Active Minds’ Instagram. Thank you for your continued support, now let’s talk about mental health.