Mobilizing Students for Mental Health Awareness and Preparedness

Active Minds is a leading national nonprofit organization that engages students to change the conversation about mental health. Through its rapidly growing network of student-led chapters on university and college campuses across the country, Active Minds increases students’ awareness of mental health issues, provides resources regarding mental health and mental illness, and encourages students to seek help as soon as needed.
In 2016, Kognito and Active Minds partnered to create an innovative, national collegiate mental health challenge designed to increase student preparedness, confidence, and likelihood to assist peers in distress.

During the spring and fall 2016 semesters, Active Minds’ chapters across the country were given free access to Kognito’s At-Risk for College Students online simulation. The evidence-based, online role-play simulation builds awareness, knowledge, and skills about mental health and suicide prevention and prepares users to lead real-life conversations with peers in distress and connect them with support.

Active Minds’ student leaders engaged students on their campus to complete the simulation using many different student-focused strategies including, awarding Greek life community service credits, integrating the simulation into class curriculum, organizing computer labs, and promoting via social media and other school communication channels.

Challenge participants represented a diverse range of campuses–from small liberal arts colleges to major research universities. In total, close to 7,000 students from 205 institutions participated. The challenge demonstrated what is possible when students are equipped and empowered to lead mental health education and suicide prevention efforts.

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