Giving Compass' Take:

• A new study by the RAND Corporation confirms that campus mental health support groups have a positive impact on student mental health and well-being.

• How can philanthropy support the spread of these groups? What other mental health resources are needed on campuses? 

Here's how to change the mental health conversation on college campuses. 

Research from a landmark new study by the RAND Corporation confirms what we’ve always found to be true — that Active Minds has a significant, positive impact on student health and well-being by creating a supportive climate for mental health on college campuses.

The results of the longitudinal study of more than 1,100 students at 12 colleges is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (July 2018) in an article titled “Strengthening College Students’ Mental Health Knowledge, Awareness, and Helping Behaviors: The Impact of Active Minds, a Peer Mental Health Organization.”


  • As students become more involved with Active Minds, they are more likely to reach out to a classmate or friend who is struggling with a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.
  • Among the general student body, knowledge and positive attitudes about mental health increases as a result of an Active Minds presence, creating a more supportive campus climate and increasing the potential that students in distress will seek mental health services.
  • Active Minds’ education programs meaningfully influence not only students’ knowledge and attitudes toward mental health issues, but also their behaviors.
  • The impact is swift — knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors examined in the study positively changed within a single academic year.

Read the full article about campus mental health groups at Active Minds.