11 Mental Health Texting Resources for Advisors
We are thrilled to have guest authors Helen Zhong and Kelly Madden from Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students, share 11 mental health texting resources for academic advisors.
Why mental health is important right now
It is time to prioritize young people’s mental health. As the pandemic continues and socially distant learning becomes more of a long-term reality, many students are experiencing growing feelings of isolation and loneliness. In a recent survey conducted by Active Minds, 89% of college students reported feeling anxious or stressed due to the pandemic. These students may depend on faculty members and trusted advisors for more support, especially within virtual or hybrid learning models. Students are struggling to navigate their academic lives while experiencing firsthand the effects of the pandemic, heightened racial trauma, and an intense political climate. Now more than ever, it is crucial for faculty members to support student mental health.
It can be difficult to know what to say to students, and that’s okay. Simply letting students know you care can help them succeed. You do not have to be a mental health professional to provide support with students’ mental health.
Mental health texting resources for advisors
At Active Minds, we’ve created an environment that fosters advocacy, de-stigmatization, and awareness around young people’s mental health struggles. We build strong and supportive environments where anyone who needs help can seek it with confidence. With student-led chapters on more than 800 college and high school campuses, Active Minds is helping more and more young people gain the tools and resources they need to make a difference.
Active Minds has partnered with Signal Vine to create a bank of 11 messages and resources for academic advisors and faculty. Use these messages to let your students know that you are there for them, that you’re ready to listen, and that they can count on you for support. You can download the message bank here. Keep reading to see these messages in action.
Messages of encouragement and positive reminders
Let students know that you are here for them with general messages of encouragement. It can be helpful for them to hear that they are not alone and that they can turn to you for support.
Messages to promote a healthy study-life balance
Many students are experiencing heightened stress, which likely includes academic stress. It can be especially difficult for students to adjust to a virtual or hybrid learning model. These messages remind students to keep a healthy balance between their studies and their mental health. Their success as a student encompasses far more than just academics!
Messages about the importance of self-care
Self-care is a vital part of maintaining one’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Students may find it difficult to maintain their self-care routines, especially as we move further into the academic year. Consider sending these messages during times of heightened student stress, such as exam season or the end of a term.
Messages and resources about mental wellness
Don’t be afraid to speak openly with your students about mental health. Promoting open and honest conversation is a great step to destigmatize mental health and encourage help-seeking behaviors. Further, you may find it helpful to use the V-A-R method to talk about these topics.
Mental health plays a large role in student success, especially in these confusing and uncertain times. It is understandable to feel nervous about finding the right words, but remember that help can take many forms. You don’t need to know exactly what to say; simply being there and offering support can be very powerful. Keep in mind that the effect of these messages might not always be obvious, but you are still helping students in intangible ways by creating a welcoming and supportive environment for students to reach out about their mental health.
Active Minds has also created a hub of resources for navigating mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the disproportionate impact the pandemic and current events have had on BIPOC individuals, our Your Voice is Your Power campaign calls on students and campuses nationwide to advocate for BIPOC student mental health.
To learn more about how faculty members can support students, check out this faculty guide written by Active Minds and ACUE, which includes recommendations and practical approaches for supporting student mental health. For more on how to apply the V-A-R method when communicating with students, read this Signal Vine blog post by Becky Fein, the Director of Training & Engagement at Active Minds.
Communicating effectively with your campus communities is of paramount importance right now
If you’d like to learn how Signal Vine can help, please join us for a demo.