The Healthy Minds Study - Student Survey

The Healthy Minds Network’s annual web-based survey study examining mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students.  Since its national launch in 2007, HMS has been fielded at about 400 colleges and universities, with over 550,000 survey respondents.  

Ready to enroll your college or university? Fill out our interest form and a member of our team will reach out!

View the 2021-2022 HMS Questionnaire. 

This guide provides an overview of the study and explains each step from enrollment to data collection and reporting.  It also provides information about and links to our study documents.

Have questions about participating as a student? Check out our FAQ!

Overview of the Healthy Minds Study

HMN is now enrolling colleges and universities for participation in the Healthy Minds Study (HMS) during the 2021-2022 academic year.  HMS is an online survey study of students, available for implementation at all types of post-secondary institutions, including U.S. and international four-year colleges and universities as well as community colleges and technical schools. 

Using validated measures, HMN’s survey research provides 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.

By enrolling your institution in HMS, you are joining a group of post-secondary institutions dedicated to understanding and addressing issues related to students’ mental health through scientifically rigorous research.

Our goal is for HMS data to be used to inform policy and practice at post-secondary institutions. HMN data can be used to:

  • Strengthen grant applications (e.g., SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith grants)
  • Advocate for mental health services and programs on campus
  • Evaluate existing programs (e.g., reductions in stigma following a major campaign)
  • Assess need for programs and services (see an example of the economic case data deliverable)
  • Raise awareness of mental health and campus resources
  • Make comparisons with peer institutions

If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed in the Participation Guide or would simply prefer to learn about participation from one of our team members, please contact us at hms-coordination@umich.edu

Survey Structure

The Healthy Minds Study consists of three core modules, which are included in all survey administrations:

  • Demographics
  • Mental Health Status
  • Mental Health Survey Utilization/Help-Seeking

HMS has a number of elective modules, noted below. The availability of these modules will depend on the size of your school and cohort participation. For more detail, please see the Participation Guide and Questionnaire linked above.

  • Substance Use
  • Sleep
  • Eating and Body Image
  • Sexual Assault
  • Overall Health
  • Knowledge and Attitudes about Mental Health and Mental Health Services
  • Upstander/Bystander Behaviors
  • Mental Health Climate
  • Climate for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Academic Competition, Persistence and Retention
  • Resilience and Coping
  • Financial Stress
  • Student Athletes
  • Peer Support
  • Public Safety and Policing

Campuses may add up to 10 custom questions to the survey.  Our research team is experienced in survey design methodology and can provide guidance as needed in the creation of custom questions. 

Data Reporting

Your institution’s data deliverables are designed to facilitate the translation of mental health research into practice.  In order to make the research as useful as possible, the HMN team provides participating institutions with numerous ways to examine their data.  All participating institutions receive access to the following data deliverables. Explore our data deliverables and resources on our website.

  • Customized data sets are de-identified student’s responses to the survey items. These data are provided in multiple formats (e.g., SPSS, Stata, and CSV). Institutions receive students’ responses to open-ended survey questions in spreadsheet format.  The HMN team also provides access to a comprehensive codebook which details variable names assigned to each survey item.

  • Customized data reports include tables and graphs illustrating key survey findings and an appendix containing descriptive statistics. These electronic reports include a comparisons to the national sample of schools. Campuses that choose to add custom questions to the survey also receive a data report containing the results of those items.

  • The Interactive Data Interface allows institution contacts to log in to a secure server to further explore their data and generate data visualizations. It is also easy to examine sub-groups of interest.

  • The Economic Case Memo (example here) is a brief customized memo summarizing how data can be translated to an economic case for student mental health services and programs.
Participating Institutions

Below is a map of post-secondary institutions that have participated in HMN’s survey studies as well as lists of participating institutions organized by year.