At the base of societal advancement, lay advocacy, empathy and a strong desire to make the world a better place. What once started as a grass roots effort in creating awareness around mental health, Active Minds is now one of the largest non-profit organizations, housed in more than 600 university campuses across North America, including York University. The goal of Active Minds remains clear and consistent across all of its platforms – to destigmatize mental illness by starting the conversation.



There is no denial in acknowledging the impacts of mental illness in our society. Almost every one of us knows someone, or even ourselves, who has struggled mentally at some point in their lives. The problem is that most people suffer in silence, afraid to seek help while their quality of life deteriorates. Likewise, others might show external signs that may be misattributed, or missed altogether by their loved ones. Unfortunately, it is sometimes too late to act on the signs that we miss, deeming them so obvious when we fall victim to hindsight bias. But what are the signs and why do we miss them? Why are people afraid to seek help? Our organization’s founder, Alice Malmon, recognized this issue when she lost her brother to suicide. Alice, amongst many others who advocate for mental health awareness, understand that at the core of the issue, lies a lack of awareness about the spectra of mental illnesses and the resources available to help those who are struggling.



At Active Minds, we aim to change the attitude around mental health by promoting conversations with fellow peers. We believe the key to destigmatizing mental illness lies in active listening, compassion and empathy; we exhibit nothing less in our advocacy. Our efforts at York University range from regular tabling to organizing monthly events, such as the all-time-favourite Pet Therapy event, Paint Nights, Movie Nights, fun social media campaigns and more. We were also the first organization on campus to participate in the Human Library Project, which reaffirmed the importance of never judging any book by its cover. Additionally, our annual Symposium Night welcomes guest speakers from all walks of life to inspire others by talking about their experiences navigating mental illness. Whether you see us tabling in Vari Hall or come out to our next monthly event, rest assured that you will be welcomed, accepted and offered many helpful resources on the topic of mental health.




@York U Chapter

A student-led initiative for the end of stigmatization, awareness of mental health  and health education;

Students who use peer-to-peer outreach for health advocacy and education with a focus on mental health;

A liaison between students and the administration/mental health community;

A national organization founded in 2001 with 200+ chapters worldwide;

A 5-star chapter in 2012-13;


#Our Mission

To utilize peer outreach to increase student awareness of issues of mental health;

To serve as liaison within communities and promotion of positive mental health;


#Our Vision

To educate, and empower all young adults to realize the importance of mental illness before it ever reaches a tragic stage;

To fight against stigma mental illness by promoting an enlightened discussion of mental health issues on campus;


#Action Plan

Provide awareness  to students about signs of mental illness, and available resources in communities for seeking help;

Plan campus-friendly events that reach as many members of the campus community as possible;

Encourage, discuss & educate students to other people who have experienced mental illness;

Promote students to other students who have been successful while living with a mental illness


Name of Person from left to right: Ming Kan, Kyle, Mira, Angela(Yoga instructor), Yusef, Davin