With most of Active Minds’ 16,000 student leaders prepared to or already transitioned to online learning, it’s more important than ever to continue our mental health advocacy efforts and support our now-remote campus communities during this time.
Below are tips from Active Minds to keep your efforts moving, informed in part by our exclusively online campus chapters at American Public University System and Penn State World Campus!
Stay Connected with Active Minds National
It’s an uncertain time for all of us right now. But remember, you don’t have to be an expert to be there and the Active Minds national office is here for you.
- Join the Slack network to share and learn ideas with other student leaders.
- Join us for two video chats/webinars exclusively for you! Tuesday, March 24 is a webinar for students on Sleep, Self-Care, and Sharing a Productive, Healthy Indoor Environment: Everything Students Need to Know about Mental Health during COVID-19 and Wednesday, March 25 is a video chat to discuss Student-Led Mental Health Advocacy in an Era of Physical Distancing (or check out the recording after the session!)
- Schedule video check-ins with Active Minds national staff to talk about ways you can be engaging your peers right now.
Get Creative with Your Programming
Check out our NEW STUDENT REMOTE RESOURCES hub for ideas on how to continue relevant programming while physically distant from your campus community.
Share Campus Counseling Center Resources
Work with your campus counseling center to learn what will be available to students during the online learning period and help spread the word about those services through email, your social media accounts, campus listservs, etc.
Maintain Regular Meetings and Discussions — Just Take Them Online!
Now more than ever, students will need to stay connected and support each other. Maintain regular meetings and talk to each other about how you’re coping, share suggestions for self-care and other related topics. Continued routine is a crucial component of positive mental health.
Amp Up Your Social Media
Now’s a good time to make sure other students are following your social media channels. Consider using a common hashtag to share updates, jokes, and tips with each other or to have a shared discussion or Twitter chat. Invite your student body to join you!
Celebrate and Recognize the Class of 2020
The future of commencement and senior class activities may still be unknown for some schools, while others have already canceled or postponed much of their end of year celebration out of an abundance of caution. The Class of 2020 has worked hard for years to celebrate their achievements with friends and family and may be working through a variety of emotions as they approach graduation. Celebrate and recognize the hard work of these graduating seniors as much as possible and assure them that their work has not gone unrecognized.
Think Proactively about Fall 2020
What will you and your fellow students need most from your administrators when it’s time to return to campus? Is there an opportunity to identify those needs now (i.e. incompletes, different styles of final exams, or academic leniency) and start working with your administrators to plan for them together? What about your advocacy plans for the fall – use this time to give your chapter or organization an extra leg up to make a big splash when you return to campus.
Prioritize Your Own Wellness
Above all, don’t forget to put your own well-being first. Do what works for you – take breaks, breathe, handle your basic needs, draw boundaries, and give yourself plenty of self-compassion during this time. Selfcare is among the highest forms of mental health advocacy.
- Sanvello’s free meditation for students
- InsightTimer meditation app
- Lululemon’s free yoga, fitness, and meditation on InstagramLive
- MindBodyGreen’s free wellness classes on InstagramLive
Remember: we are in this together. Each person’s experience of this pandemic and its ramifications is valid. Your family, friends, and especially your campus communities need you right now and you can best serve them by taking care of yourself and practicing the self care you promote every day. Thank you for all of the work you’re doing to support your community.