WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the national nonprofit Active Minds announced the six winners of the 2016 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award, each recognized as one of the healthiest college campuses in the nation:
- California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)
- Jefferson College (Hillsboro, MO)
- Lawrence University (Appleton, WI)
- Sacramento State (Sacramento, CA)
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI)
- Honorable Mention: Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
This year's recipients represent a range of campuses – from small liberal arts colleges to major research universities – that operate within widely different contexts and challenges. Together they demonstrate how institutions of all types and sizes can create healthy communities that allow every student the opportunity to thrive and succeed.
"The Healthy Campus Award winners stand out because they invest in students' physical and mental health on a comprehensive scale and for the long term," says Alison Malmon, executive director and founder of Active Minds, the national nonprofit that presents the Healthy Campus Award as part of its commitment to student wellness. "They are models of what's possible when a college prioritizes a campus culture of health, safety, and well-being."
In recognizing the healthiest college campuses in the nation, the Healthy Campus Award celebrates institutions that are transitioning from a traditional, infirmary model of student health care toward a public health approach to student well-being – a change of emphasis from getting healthy to staying well. This focus on awareness and prevention also encompasses multiple dimensions of health (not just physical health) to include mental, social, and financial well-being.
"The health and wellness of our entire campus community is a priority of mine," says Jane Close Conoley, president of California State University, Long Beach. "Good physical and mental health is essential to student success, which is why we support a variety of programs that directly affect health and wellness. Winning the Active Minds Healthy Campus Award validates our commitment to this important mission."
The award, now in its second year, involves an extensive application process, as well as multiple endorsements and interviews. Each applicant is assessed across eight criteria, with winners chosen by a panel of prominent researchers and health and higher education experts.
Students enrolled at schools that demonstrate excellence in prioritizing and promoting student health and well-being often find the programs and services offered there are life changing. "I was bullied in high school and struggled with terrible depression," says Haley Arbuthnot, an art major at Jefferson College. "It wasn't until I enrolled at Jefferson that I was able to start seeing a therapist (thanks to Jefferson's free counseling service). I'm living proof that, if provided with access to these important resources, any student can thrive in college."
Research shows that investing in campus health allows more students to thrive and leads to increased student engagement, retention, and success. Campus efforts also broaden the way society as a whole thinks about, cares for, and values wellness.
The Healthy Campus Award is made possible through the generous support of The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. Additional resources are available from Active Minds, including photos and a downloadable summary called "Key Findings from the Nation's Healthiest Campuses" (www.activeminds.org/award). A call for applications for the 2018 award will open in October 2017.
About the Healthy Campus Award
The Active Minds Healthy Campus Award recognizes higher education institutions that provide access to quality healthcare and take a comprehensive approach to promoting and protecting both the physical and mental health of students. The award criteria – which includes a focus on long-term solutions and data-driven measures – align with the Healthy Campus 2020 framework and characteristics established by the American College Health Association, the Strategic Primer on College Student Mental Health produced by NASPA: Administrators in Higher Education, the American Psychological Association, the American Council on Education, and the TJF/SPRC Comprehensive Model for Mental Health Protection and Suicide Prevention.
About Active Minds
Active Minds (www.activeminds.org) is the nation's premier nonprofit for supporting the mental health of students. Through award-winning programs and services, Active Minds is empowering a new generation to speak openly, act courageously, and change the conversation about mental health for everyone. Active Minds has student-led chapters at more than 400 colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide and internationally, and is headquartered in Washington, DC. Follow us on Facebook at ActiveMindsInc and on Twitter and Instagram at @Active_Minds.
About The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation serves to improve the lives of people with serious mental illness by investing in innovative projects having national transformational impact. The foundation was established in 2001 in Hudson, Ohio, as a private grant making foundation. Peg Morgan's husband, Burton D. Morgan, provided the initial donation that established the foundation and put into motion plans to carry out Peg's decades-long desire to help families grappling with mental illness. For more information, visit: www.mcmfdn.org.
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SOURCE Active Minds