Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health

Healthy Minds Study: Student FAQ

Thank you for considering participation in the Healthy Minds Network (HMN)’s survey research. You are likely here because you have been asked to participate in the Healthy Minds Study (HMS). HMS was designed specifically for colleges and universities, and its success depends on gathering the diverse perspectives of students across campus. By participating, you will be providing your school with valuable information that will improve student life and you will be contributing to a broader goal of promoting student well-being within higher education.

Below you will find our Frequently Asked Questions by Students for HMS, compiled from questions asked over 10 years of working with students who have been invited to participate in HMS. If you do not find an answer to your questions, below, please click around this site to find more information, or you may email our study team at

Why was I chosen to respond to the survey?

You have been invited to participate in this study to better understand the stresses students experience in college and graduate school. HMS was designed specifically for colleges and universities, and its success depends on gathering the diverse perspectives of students across campus. Getting this information from all students – undergraduate, graduate, non-traditional, and commuter students alike – will help us get a clearer picture of how students handle the stresses of college life and how well their mental and emotional health needs are being met. Even more importantly, your school will also get valuable information to help them make decisions about mental health programs and resources on your campus.

How did you get my name and email address?

Your school chose to participate in this study and provided our team with a list of students, which included your first name and email address. The consent form in your survey link will tell you whether any other variables have been gathered from your school. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact the researchers at

Why was my information given to the Healthy Minds Network for this study?

Your school is participating in HMS to better understand and improve the mental health needs of students on campus. Therefore, we asked them for a sample of students to send out our survey to, and you are among the students selected to participate. Some schools choose people randomly, some schools choose everyone. Your school has determined that they may share this data with our study team, considering federal, state, and institutional policies and regulations. For specifics on your school’s decision, you may contact the researchers at, or reach out to the contact person at your school listed at the end of your consent form.

Why was I emailed multiple times?

Over the course of the one-month data collection period, students who have not completed the survey will receive several reminders.

To opt out (and stop receiving emails):
1. Follow the survey link to the consent form and click “No, I do not consent to participate in this study.”
2. Click on the “Opt-Out” link located at the bottom of your HMS email

Is this survey anonymous or confidential?

Accordion ContentHMS is a confidential survey. A confidential survey requires some confidence in the study team to maintain the privacy of respondents’ identifying information. This differs from an anonymous survey, which has no respondent identifiers. Read more at University of Michigan’s Research and Compliance Guidelines (blue box on right side of page, and under “Key Definitions”), and at Statistics Solutions’ definition of “confidential” v. “anonymous.”

How is my confidentiality protected?

This survey was designed to protect your privacy and confidentiality

  • Your answers to the survey will be stored in a file that is separate from your first name and email address
  • The data from this study, without any identifiable information, is stored in a secure digital location by the research team for future research purposes
  • Any reports or articles written about this survey will describe people’s answers all together (in the aggregate or as a whole), and will contain no information that could allow someone to identify you
  • Participating institutions will receive a de-identified data set and will not be given access to individually identifiable survey data. We will also leave out any sports team affiliation or country of origin that you may have indicated. This helps make sure that no one at your school can look at the de-identified data set and guess who you are by “connecting-the-dots” with indirect-identifying information.

Who should participate in this study?

We invite degree-seeking students at your institution to participate in this voluntary study. We welcome a diverse perspective! If any of these apply to you, we invite you to participate:

  • Traditional student
  • Online student
  • Graduate student
  • Nontraditional student
  • Studying abroad

We aren’t inviting people who are only auditing courses — in other words, people who aren’t trying to earn a degree. Although perspectives and experiences from this population are an important piece of your school’s overall climate, they are not part of this study’s main objective.

The survey link in the email doesn’t work; how can I access my survey?

Please try copying and pasting your link into a new window of your current web-browser or use a different web-browser altogether.

Will I get money for taking this survey?

You will be entered into a national sweepstakes to win one of two $500 prizes or one of ten $100 prizes. In addition, your school may have their own drawing for additional prizes; if so, you will be notified in your HMS email with your survey link.

You don’t need to do anything to enter the drawings. All invited students at all participating institutions for this study are automatically entered to win the national sweepstakes prizes, even if you don’t fill out the survey.

The prize drawing will be in the summer. Your chances of winning the national sweepstakes are about 1 in 20,000.

How do I remove myself from the mailing list?

To opt out (and stop receiving emails):

  1. Follow the survey link to the consent form and click “No, I do not consent to participate in this study.”
  2. Click on the “Opt-Out” link located at the bottom of your HMS email

If I want to receive help for my mental health, what resources are available to me?

Your school’s counseling center contact information is listed at the top of every page of your survey.

Mental health resources on your campus are also listed at the end of your survey.

You can also reach out to and we can provide you this list of mental health resources on your campus directly.

We’re also happy to put you in touch with the primary contact of this study at your specific institution if you want to speak with someone directly about any questions/concerns you have.

I have a suggestion/question for the survey; can I submit feedback to the study team?

We welcome feedback about our study! Please fill out our brief, anonymous Student Feedback form to provide your suggestions for improving the Healthy Minds Study.

Can I change some of the answers to the survey I already submitted?

No—to maintain the validity of our survey design, we do not allow for editing of responses that have already been submitted.

I’ve already taken this survey, why do I keep receiving emails about this study?

There are a few possibilities:

  • You may not have completely finished the survey.
  • You may be confusing this survey with a different survey on your campus.
  • You may have taken this survey in the past, and your school just wants your input again.

If you still think you shouldn’t have gotten it, email the HMS team at, and we’ll clear it up.

I accidently did not consent to the survey, but I want to participate; can I have a new link?

No, unfortunately.  Because we use an anonymized method of sending email invitations to students, to protect your confidentiality and keep your contact information separate from your survey information, there is no way for us to track down your original survey and send you a new link. We apologize for the inconvenience, and greatly appreciate your interest in participating!