5 Colleges and Universities Named Best-in-Class for Health and Wellbeing

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 24, 2020 – Five colleges and universities have received the Healthy Campus Award from Active Minds, the national nonprofit that promotes mental health and education for young adults. The prestigious award, now in its fourth year, recognizes schools for their efforts to prioritize and promote the full health and well-being of their students.

“Colleges and universities are crucial partners in improving the health, resilience, and well-being of young adults,” said Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds. “The 2020 winners of the Healthy Campus Awards serve as models for the impact institutions can have through prioritizing a culture on campus that promotes and protects both the physical and mental health of its students.”

The 2020 Healthy Campus Awardees are: Denison University, Santa Monica College, Skidmore College, University of Arizona, and University of Richmond.

This year’s recipients represent a range of campuses that operate within varying contexts and challenges: rural, urban, commuter campuses, small, and large student bodies. Notably, Santa Monica – a community college located in West Los Angeles County that serves more than 30,000 students each year – scored the top marks among the 2020 Healthy Campus Award applicants. Together, the awardees demonstrate how institutions of all sizes and types can create healthy communities that allow every student the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

Recipients of the 2020 award are integrating innovative solutions into the fabric of their campuses that not only serve students’ physical health, but also give equal priority and investment to mental health. Best practices include:

  • Opportunities for student-led initiatives
  • Community-campus partnerships
  • Integration of wellness in strategic plans
  • Strong efforts to break down health equity barriers
  • Training for clinicians around LGBTQ+ issues
  • Integration of physical and mental health services
  • Wellness education requirement for all students
  • Extensive use of strategic planning and data

“In selecting our Healthy Campus Award winners, our panel of esteemed reviewers were impressed with these promising practices, all of which have made measurable changes in the awardee’s campus cultures,” says Laura Horne, Chief Program Officer for Active Minds. “These campuses are not only prioritizing their student’s mental and physical health, but they are involving those students in improving the standards on campus, so that everyone can get the help they need, when they need it.”

Each Healthy Campus Award application goes through an extensive process as well as multiple layers of endorsements and interviews. Applicants are assessed across eight criteria, with winners chosen by a panel of prominent researchers and experts in health and higher education.

On March 10, 2020, Active Minds will partner with three of the award-winning campuses to share their promising practices via webinar. To attend, visit activeminds.org/HCAWebinar2020.

The Healthy Campus Award is made possible through the generous support of Peg’s Foundation. For more information about Active Minds, the Healthy Campus Awards, and the best-in-class programs of the award-winning colleges, please visit activeminds.org/award.


About the Healthy Campus Award: The Active Minds Healthy Campus Award recognizes colleges and universities that are leading the way in prioritizing student health. It recognizes schools that provide access to quality healthcare and champions institutions that not only serve students’ physical health but give equal priority and investment to mental health.

About Active Minds: Active Minds is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Active Minds has a presence on over 800 college, university, and high school campuses nationwide, and is powered by a robust Chapter Network, the nationally acclaimed Send Silence Packing® display, and inspiring Active Minds Speakers. Active Minds is creating communities of support and saving lives. To help change the conversation about mental health, visit activeminds.org.


Contact: Amanda Horn
Phone: 202-332-9595 X103