Nonprofit Spotlight: Active Minds

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In honor of September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to Active Minds, a leader in young adult mental health advocacy and suicide prevention.

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2003

  • Leadership: Alison Malmon, founder and executive director, started it as a student group at Penn after the suicide of her brother, Brian. She’s won numerous awards for her work.

  • Issue they address: the stigma and silence around youth mental health.

  • What they do: empower young adults to speak openly about mental health to reduce the stigma, create communities of support, and save lives.

  • How they do it:

    • Support a large network of student-led chapters nationwide.

    • Provide tools, resources and support to students who serve as passionate advocates for mental health, encourage help-seeking among peers and lobby for better school policies.

    • Organize campaigns, speaker series and other resources.

Why they were chosen

Active Minds has a far reach, with 600+ student-led chapters nationwide. They quickly pivoted during the pandemic to meet students where they were (virtually). And I love their evidence-based, peer-to-peer approach, giving young people the tools to talk openly about mental health and feel okay asking for help.

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To further honor Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we wanted to share some stats and resources.

💡 By the numbers

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34
  • The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999
  • 78% of people who die by suicide are male
  • And lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth

The pandemic has been particularly hard on mental health, with reported increases of depression, anxiety and stress in both students and adults.

💞 Resources on resources

Checking in with loved ones you think may be struggling is so important. Seize the Awkward is a great resource if you’re not sure how or what to say.

Take 5 to save lives outlines 5 steps to know the signs and how to help.

And if you have been personally impacted by a suicide loss or know someone who has, the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors provides 24/7 online support.

Finally, remember its okay to not be okay. For 24/7 crisis support, call 800-273-8255 or text NAMI to 741741. Sending love to you and yours. ✨

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Mental Health cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit working to make the world a healthier place.