The Healthy Minds Student Leadership Coalition
The Healthy Minds Student Leadership Coalition is a University of Michigan student organization established in Fall 2014 to connect a network of leaders on campus to increase discussion and awareness of mental health issues as well as engagement in research and programming for student mental health. The coalition brings together students from a variety of campus communities including Greek Life, Student Housing, Central Student Government, and mental health advocacy groups. Every week, the coalition meets to discuss ongoing HMN research and to organize mental health awareness events on campus. These include TedX Salons focused on mental health, guest speakers on mental health research and related topics, and the annual projects listed below.
Annual Coalition Projects
- TinyShifts National Film Competition: The coalition coordinates an annual film competition that calls on college students from across the country to create and submit a short two minute film on how they cope with stress. The winners of this competition are selected based on the most shares, “likes”, and views of their films so that they not only have to think creatively about their mental health but are also encouraged to discuss this within their networks.
- Mental Health Monologues: The coalition also organizes the campus’ annual Mental Health Monologues show. This show allows students, faculty, and staff on campus to share their experiences dealing with mental illness in the form of a short poem, spoken word, dance, or rant performance in a public setting, sometimes for the first time. The coalition works closely and personally with the performers in the months leading up to the show to help them feel comfortable sharing their stories, developing their scripts, practicing their performances, and, most importantly, finding closure or greater perspective from the overall experience. The audience leaves this show with a greater understanding of the variety of mental illnesses and experiences that can exist.
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