Transform Your Campus® Empowers College Students to Advocate for Policy Changes
For Immediate Release
March 7, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Active Minds has launched new leave of absence resources as part of its Transform Your Campus® campaign – an innovative program that educates students on how to initiate policy changes that will better support mental health.
Available as an online toolkit from Active Minds, Transform Your Campus provides practical, proven guidance on how students can serve as a positive catalyst for change. Participating students have successfully advocated for including mental health in freshman orientation, hiring more counseling staff, adding crisis information to student ID cards, and much more. In just one year, student leaders at 28 campuses prompted changes in school policies.
While many schools have increased the quality and quantity of mental health services offered on campus over the past decade, little attention has been paid to formalizing and standardizing leave of absence policies for students who find they need to take a break to ensure their mental health. Created with leaders in the field, “Transform Your Leave and Return Policies” is a robust addition to the Transform Your Campus toolkit, enabling students and administrators to work together to enhance the accommodations provided by schools to support the heath needs of students as well as their academic goals.
Active Minds was founded in 2003 by Alison Malmon, then a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, after tragically losing her only sibling, her 22-year-old brother Brian Malmon, to suicide. “A prominent part of the Active Minds mission is to offer leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation of mental health advocates,” says Malmon, executive director of Active Minds. The “Transform Your Leave and Return Policies” resource equips students with the information they need to collaborate on sustainable, supportive, and lawful leave of absence policies. It is truly a launch pad for students seeking to create change on their campuses that will benefit students for years to come.”
Transform Your Campus was funded through a generous grant from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. It was developed through advice and insight from students, researchers, and administrators at The Healthy Minds Network, Ohio State University, Cornell University, Washington Adventist University, The George Washington University, Cabrini College, Georgetown University, Tufts University, Hamilton College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penn State, the University of Maryland, The College of Old Westbury, University of California at Riverside, Oberlin College and Northwestern University.
The Transform Your Campus toolkit is available at no cost to all college student groups. It includes a diagnostic tool to evaluate how a school’s policies line up with what are considered to be best practices in the college student mental health and disability law fields. To learn more, visit https://www.activeminds.org/transform/loa.
About Active Minds: Active Minds (https://www.activeminds.org) is the nation’s premier nonprofit supporting mental health awareness and education for students. Through award-winning programs and services, Active Minds is empowering a new generation to speak openly, act courageously, and change the conversation about mental health for everyone.
Active Minds’ national office supports a vast and vibrant network of campus chapters located at more than 400 colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide. Each year, more than 12,000 students join Active Minds chapters to serve as passionate advocates, stigma fighters, and educators for mental health.
Founded in 2003 and based in Washington, DC, Active Minds is one of the country’s largest mental health advocacy groups. Alongside thousands of students and supporters, Active Minds is dedicated to creating lasting change in the way mental health is talked about, cared for, and valued within our nation’s schools and communities.
Angela Gillis | Active Minds | Communications Manager
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