Healthy Minds Network
Mental health is an incredibly important part of success, if not the most important part of success. During our college years, keeping our mental health in check is vital to our goals, as classwork, internships, jobs, extracurricular activities and volunteer work become increasingly taxing.
Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic turning our worlds upside down, measuring the mental health status of college students has become a recent interest for many academic and research groups.
The Healthy Minds Network (HMN), which launched in 2007, is one such research group. With more than half a million respondents from over 400 colleges and universities, the Healthy Minds Study (HMS) has become an incredibly valuable tool in attempting to draw awareness to the climate of mental health among students at secondary institutions.
So, how does this work?
Every year, the HMN releases a questionnaire that students can fill out; the students’ responses are then added to the data collected by the study. As per their website, the HMN claims to be, “using validated measures [to provide] a detailed look at the prevalence of mental health outcomes, knowledge and attitudes about mental health and service utilization. HMS emphasizes understanding help-seeking behavior, examining stigma, knowledge, and other potential barriers to mental health service utilization.”
They look into student substance use, sleep, body image, sexual assault, the climate of diversity and inclusion, along with many other subjects. Individual colleges and universities are allowed to include up to ten university-specific questions for their own resources.
Their goal is to ultimately draw awareness to institutions’ mental health climate, but also to aid in finding grants for mental health resources, evaluate their existing programs and compare their standing to other institutions.
This novel study has come to Case Western Reserve University and it is currently being promoted by University Health and Counseling Services, with a number of prizes available for those who complete it. If you fill out the survey, you will be automatically “entered into a sweepstakes for 1 of 2 $500 prizes or 1 of 10 $100 prizes.” Plus, through CWRU, you will be entered into a raffle to win a weighted blanket.
It only takes about 25 minutes to fill out, is anonymous and is ultimately incredibly important in measuring our own campus resources for administration to take a look at and determine whether or not these existing resources are sufficient.
As of now, you cannot log into MyHealthConnect to set up a counseling session because they are all booked up, so it is more important than ever that we as students express our concerns with the current standing of mental health help on this campus.
You can still participate in this incredible program, as the questionnaire remains open for another week. Make your voice heard and, as a student body, let’s use this opportunity to truly let our opinions on the current mental health climate be known.