Mental Health Education

COVID -19  |  JED FOUndation  |  Behind Happy Faces  |  Active minds

Mental health is an important topic for our collegiate members, and Alpha Chi Omega recognizes the importance of assisting our members with engaging in this critical topic. A recent survey on behalf of the American College Health Association indicated that in the past year, three out of five students experienced overwhelming anxiety and two out of five students were too depressed to function.
As members continue to experience struggles with mental health concerns like anxiety, depression and substance abuse, Alpha Chi Omega continues to be a leading organization providing its members developmental programs to facilitate meaningful conversations around mental health.  


ENCOURAGING MENTAL WELLNESS DURING COVID-19

Recognizing the challenges faced by students everywhere during these unique circumstances, Active Minds has created a special online hub for students to support their mental health during COVID-19. They have also released an article sharing 6 Things To Know About Mental Health During COVID-19. Active Minds has also opened their Student Slack Network to all students (usually only open to Active Minds chapter members to connect with the Active Minds team and each other via chat). To promote mental well-being and build community while practicing social distancing, Active Minds is offering the following three webinars:
  • Sleep, Self-Care, and Sharing a Productive, Healthy Indoor Environment: Everything Students Need to Know about Mental Health during COVID-19 - Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. CDT / 5 p.m. MDT / 4 p.m. PDT
    • Intended for: students
    • Millions of students have been displaced due to COVID-19-related school closures and are curious about practicing self-care; creating a productive, healthy indoor environment; talking to their parents about mental health while social distancing; and more. Dr. Kristen Lee, a licensed clinical social worker and associate teaching professor at Northeastern University, will share tips for all of these questions and more during this free, interactive discussion with up to 500 student participants. Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.
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  • Student Chat: Student-Led Mental Health Advocacy in an Era of Physical Distancing - Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. CDT / 5 p.m. MDT / 4 p.m. PDT
    • Intended for: Student mental health advocates
    • In an unprecedented moment for higher education, students continue to lead the way with innovative, creative and impactful ideas to support the mental health needs of their peers. This interactive meeting and discussion, led by Active Minds, will share strategies students have employed to maintain connection; educate on and support mental health and wellness; and build community at a time of increased anxiety, isolation and instability among students. Limited to 100 student participants. Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.
 
  • Communicating in Quarantine: Tips to Encourage Mental Wellness in Close Quarters - Thursday, March 26, 7pm ET
    • Intended for: young adults, parents, remote workers, neighbors/community members
    • All over the country, families, communities, schools and workplaces are facing feelings of isolation and challenges with communicating with others as a result of students returning home after school closures; individuals balancing multiple responsibilities in a shared space with each other and other family members or roommates; colleagues, students, faculty and administrators continuing their work through online formats; and members of the community working to support their most vulnerable neighbors while practicing physical distancing. This webinar will share easy, practical ways we can start supporting each other better right now through active listening. Limited to 500 participants. Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.
 
During COVID-19, we acknowledge that students are navigating a unique transition to online education and virtual connections. While balancing these experiences, it is important that members are also taking care of their emotional well-being. Here are a few resources to help:
  • Visit ULifeline.org/stay_well to access wellness resources on sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress management, relaxation and connectedness.
  • Explore apps that assist with meditation, self-reflection, sleep or relaxation, such as Headspace, 10 Percent Happier, InsightTimer and Calm.
  • Find ways to encourage each other to be physically active. Go for a walk, download a fitness app or watch a YouTube channel that helps you stay active from home.
  • Connect virtually! It is important to remain connected with other sisters, friends, family and peers.
  • Keep your routine! Make a schedule that will keep you on track to achieve your objectives and daily goals.
  • Want to watch something on Netflix? Grab some popcorn and FaceTime or call a sister and watch your favorite show or movie together.
Should you or a friend need to talk to someone, please text “START” to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with someone for emotional support from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
 

The JED Foundation

A Commitment to Collegiate Health

Alpha Chi Omega provides its collegiate members with information about mental health and wellness through its partnership with The Jed Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote emotional health among college and university students. The Gatekeeper Training through The Jed Foundation is tailored to teach collegiate executive board officers how to be gatekeepers, members of the campus community who are in a position to help students who may be struggling with mental health.
 
In September 2014, Alpha Chi Omega became the first National Panhellenic Conference organization to affiliate with The Jed Foundation, joining men’s fraternities Sigma Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon in reaching college students on this important topic. Read the partnership announcement.


Available Resources



Behind Happy Faces

In an effort to assist collegiate chapters and advisors with honest conversations regarding mental health, Alpha Chi Omega has established a partnership with Ross Szabo, author of Behind Happy Faces, to create a groundbreaking curriculum focused on preparing members and advisors for managing mental health in the collegiate setting. For collegiate members, we provide four lessons to peer-facilitate using cutting-edge educational videos and lesson plans to enhance emotional development. Lessons help define mental health and break down the stigmas surrounding it; open doors for more vocabulary to discuss it with others; teach about effective coping; and help you help your friends who are experiencing mental health challenges. For advisors, we provide five engaging sessions that review similar topics as the collegiate series, but through the lens of a volunteer who supports members.

Mental Health Statistics:

  • 25% of college students experience a mental health disorder each year.1

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses. 2

  • 42% of people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health disorder.3

  • 76% of college students report feeling overwhelmed.4

  • 80-90% of people with depression who seek help see improvement in their symptoms.5

1. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.
2 Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2004). Promoting mental health and preventing suicide in college and university settings. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc.
3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disorders 
4 Kadison, Richard. Digeronimo, Theresa Foy. College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to do About it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004.
5. http://www.allaboutdepression.com/gen_01.html



Active Minds

Through our harm reduction alliance partnership with Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu and Zeta Tau Alpha, we are excited to announce our recent collaboration with Active Minds. Read the partnership announcement here. This collaboration introduces Active Minds’ everyday guide for everyday challenges: Validate, Appreciate, Refer (V-A-R). V-A-R is an easy way to show up for a friend, helping them cope when they may be having more than a bad day. Be on the lookout for an educational poster, animated video and conversation starter in November 2019. 
 

National Resources

Want to know more about national resources or how to help a sister in need? Please reference this directory.
 
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Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters
5939 Castle Creek Parkway N. Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Phone: 317.579.5050
Fax: 317.579.5051
Email: info@alphachiomega.org