February 23, 2022

Grant to Active Minds supports National Conference 2022

JKBF’s 2021 grant of $12,500 to Active Minds supported their annual National Conference in February 2022. Turn It Up was designed as a hybrid conference to capitalize on the benefits of gathering in person as well as the expanded reach afforded by a virtual setting. Due to increases in Covid cases across the country, at the last minute the team pivoted to a fully virtual event with over 1000 participants, recapped on their site here.

In the Using Data to Improve Mental Health presentation, speakers focused on data-informed directions in mental health understanding and approaches. A unique opportunity to provide diversity and depth in improving what we know about health concerns is underway through the NIH’s All of Us Research Program. If you are interested in participating, this study continues to enroll participants.

The power of both storytelling and mindful language were described in sessions by the co-founder of Hashtag our Stories and Active Minds staffers. These presenters emphasized that both words and stories matter in how we speak about and impact mental health. We can all continuously teach, and learn, to help everyone feel safe and accepted. 

In a Flash Talk, Obi Felten, founder of Flourish Labs, shared how they are applying technology in improving mental health and building connections. She discussed a new tool in development called håp, a self-tracking app that utilizes a wearable device and a smartphone to help you ‘understand the ups and downs of your mind’ as it relates to your behaviors, sleep, life experiences and moods. When needed, the app can also connect you to peers and therapeutic supports. The app is being beta-tested by Active Minds participants. Obi shared her reasoning for this partnership, stating “Our mission is flourishing minds for all, and we’re starting with students. I don’t have to tell you why – the need is huge. And if we can help someone early in their life to flourish, then it impacts them during their entire life.” To learn more about the Active Minds partnership or to become an app tester, you can investigate håp here.

In the breakout sessions students presented the amazing work they are doing to learn how to support each other and to advocate for services, supports, equity, and insurance funding for mental health. Once again, Active Minds showed they know how to Turn It Up when it comes to promoting conversations about students and mental health!