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Mental health awareness non-profits advocate for crisis lines to be printed on student IDs

Andrew Hudson   ||   Jan 31, 2019  ||   

A new campaign from Active Minds, Crisis Text Line, and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is advocating for students to lobby their universities to print mental health hotlines on student ID cards. The"Transform Your Campus: ID Cards Campaign" is the first of its kind and will support high schools, colleges, and universities in their efforts to add mental health and suicide prevention crisis numbers to student ID cards.

The three mental health organizations jointly developed the new resource to provide students with ideas and action steps for lobbying campus administrators and other policymakers. The end goal is to make crisis hotlines like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line clearly visible on all campus cards.

The initiative traces its roots back to 2012, when Active Minds students at the University of Dayton successfully petitioned campus administrators to print a crisis call line on the back of all student ID cards. Just this past year, legislators in California successfully passed State Senate Bill 972, which requires the addition of crisis numbers to ID cards in schools across the state.

“No campus is immune to mental health issues,” says Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds. “Each student ID card should have crisis information printed on the back so if someone needs help, they only have to look as far as their pocket.”

The Transform Your Campus: ID Cards Campaign is part of a six-part series of free online resources. Each campaign guide provides practical, proven advice on how students can properly advocate for mental health support resources. In addition to campus cards, students have also used the guides to successfully advocate for including mental health awareness in new student orientations, and to hire additional counseling staff.

To date, more than 235 campuses have participated in Transform Your Campus initiatives. More than 60 campuses have so far successfully changed their policies and as a result of the program, including at least 22 campuses which updated their student ID cards. In total, the policy changes now impact some 892,000 enrolled students.

Transform Your Campus was funded through a grant from the Peg’s Foundation. The initiative was further developed through advice and insight from students, researchers, and administrators at The Healthy Minds Network and the following universities:

  • Ohio State University
  • Cornell University
  • Washington Adventist University
  • The George Washington University
  • Cabrini College
  • Georgetown University
  • Tufts University
  • Hamilton College
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Penn State University
  • University of Maryland
  • The College of Old Westbury
  • University of California at Riverside
  • Oberlin College
  • Northwestern University.
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