March 01, 2011

2011 Grants to Active Minds and Oberlin

The Foundation will provide a grant of $10,000 to Active Minds.  Active Minds is a rapidly growing network of thousands of college students working towards one goal: to create campuses where students feel encouraged to speak openly about mental health and seek help. Active Minds takes a grassroots approach to changing the conversation about mental health one campus at a time. A nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, Active Minds has more than 350 student chapters in nearly all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, and Canada. Support from the James Kirk Bernard Foundation in 2011-2012 will help to support the sustainability of these 350 chapters through interactive web portals, consultations, and conferences.

Update on Outcomes

  • The Interactive Program Bank was launched at the Active Minds 2011 National Mental Health on Campus Conference in November 2011. As of August 2012, there are more than 115 entries in the bank ranging from eating disorders awareness week programming to how to most effectively “table” with informational mental health resources in the student union.
  • Launched a series of Active Minds New Chapter webinars, hour-long webinars with all of our new chapters to ensure they are armed with the information, skills, and tools they need to be successful mental health change agents on their campus. As Active Minds does not have funding to visit each chapter in person, this is crucial to the success of their chapters.
  • Sustainability trip to central Florida. Florida is a hotspot with a large number of colleges and universities within driving distance of each other, and it is the location for the 2012 Mental Health on Campus Conference. Southeast Regional Chapter Manager, Rachael Datz, traveled down to central Florida and was able to visit six different colleges and universities over three days. It was a tremendous opportunity to train students in leadership development and consult with them on their challenges and successes this year and planning for the future.
  • 2011 Conference brought together more than 500 students and staff at the University of Maryland, College Park. The theme of conference was “Empowering Advocates for Change,” and through keynote presentations by the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Tom Insel; WNBA star and author Chamique Holdsclaw; and renowned singer/songwriter Meg Hutchinson, students left energized and ready to take action.

The James Kirk Bernard Foundation funded Oberlin College in the amount of $11,600 for mental wellness activities which include promoting the availability of campus mental health resources, scholarships to send Oberlin students to the national Active Minds conference, and for a speaker fund to bring speakers to campus whose topic is mental health and suicide prevention.