JOIN THE MHC AGENTS4CHANGE ON CAMPUS PILOT PROGRAM
Mental Health Connecticut is looking to select 10 CT-based college students who are passionate about making mental wellness a priority on their campus to join the MHC Agents4Change Pilot Program this fall. We are looking for college students who believe in strengthening the environments within their campus communities through the power of intervention and early prevention to increase resiliency and promote positive mental health. MHC Agents4Change will be a stepping stone to outside resources that support mental health. Individuals who have personally experienced living with a mental health and/or substance use condition are encouraged to apply.
Do you want to be an agent for creating change to make your campus community an environment where mental health thrives? Do you see needs that aren’t being met and feel motivated to make a difference where you can? This past year has taught all of us about the seriousness and growing increase in burnout, the prevalent gaps in access to resources, and the very real need for addressing mental health concerns while prioritizing self-care and wellness. Addressing concerns within our immediate environments will be the first step to being Agents4Change in our campus communities. Read more below on how you can make a difference by becoming a member of the MHC Agents4Change Pilot Program on your campus.
Who are MHC Agents4Change?
MHC Agents4Change are volunteers of Mental Health Connecticut who care about and engage with others in their community by helping to create safe environments for those who may need extra support while struggling with their mental health. They do this by readily assessing their campus community through conversations, interviews, surveys, etc., to notice what needs are not being met. As Agents4Change, you will take on a leadership role by working with your community to create change through the implementation of practices/initiatives that create healthy environments to strengthen resiliency and promote positive mental health. MHC Agents4Change will learn, conduct research and cultivate innovative change; alongside, and with the help of, other students and members of their campus community.
- Those who have personal experience with mental illness and want to use their experiences to help others create environments that foster recovery and wellness.
- Those who want to take a leadership role in creating environments that promote better mental health in their campus community.
- Those who want to improve their own understanding of mental health, mental health conditions and mental illnesses.
MHC Agents4Change will:
- 1. UNDERSTAND the needs of your campus community. Research, ask questions, understand what struggles the members of your campus community are facing and where they may value support.
2. IDENTIFY a need within your immediate environment. Find out what might be creating or perpetuating a gap in resources and develop a plan that builds some kind of a “bridge” over that gap.
3. ACT as a leader in mental health on your campus. Be visible to your community as a resource and constantly looking for opportunities to better your own understanding of how to create safe environments that promote whole health and wellness.
4. CONNECT individuals to necessary resources found on campus, within the community and in online spaces.
- MHC Agenst4Change will be expected to follow and/or create curriculum based on their selected areas of interest:
- Education – educate yourself and those in your campus environment about the realities of mental health and the preventative/intervention resources available on campus and beyond
- Advocacy – understand and outline the need of advocacy in a specific area on within your campus community (necessity can be established through surveys and interviews with campus leaders), be involved in spreading the word of action alerts
Service – help promote MHC’s programs and events, and learn about other mental health and wellness programs that could benefit your campus
- You will commit to your role for 9 months. How your time is spent will be loosely outlined, but it will be your responsibility to make the best use of your time with using the resources provided and your own creative power. As members of the Pilot Program, it will be expected that you are active in relaying feedback via completion of bi-weekly surveys and presence at monthly meetings. Meetings will be done online. When accepted into the program you will be provided a Handbook to outline your overall mission, steps to take to complete your tasks, and much more!
- As MHC Agents4Change you will identify an issue/gap in resources or area that needs support within your campus community. Through your time as MHC Agents4Change, you will create a club/organization or informal “group” that will spend time developing and implementing ideas on ways to address that concern.
- You will write up a description of the group/club plan and submit it to our MHC Agents4Change Advisor, you may also choose to appoint your own faculty advisor for the group/club on your campus. We will provide you with various options of group curriculum and ideas for how to implement your newfound role on your campus; you will be responsible for implementing that curriculum and facilitating group activities.
- You will be expected to fulfill a $250.00 fundraising requirement within your time as Agents4Change (9 months). Those who set and meet a goal of at least $500.00 will have the opportunity to participate in Mental Health First Aid training course.
- In addition to fundraising efforts, it will be expected that you complete bi-weekly check-in surveys as well as monthly meetings to outline how you are spending your time, areas of support needed etc. The surveys will be distributed in advance with a pre-set deadline.
- Be keen to share their learning around mental health and advertise the importance of self-care
- Promote our programs and workshops to your campus and community
- Safely create and perpetuate conversations around mental health on your campus
- Be encouraged to organize awareness activities on campus
- Contribute to MHC marketing and communications efforts through social media engagement, blog submissions, etc
Why join MHC Agents4Change Pilot Program?
The main reason to apply is to use your voice to join a cause bigger than yourself, to help break the stigma around mental health by continuing the conversation. Your voice will make a difference alongside the community of other MHC Agents4Change. Here are some of the perks of joining the MHC Agents4Change Pilot Program:
- Attain volunteer hours with a local organization
- Gain skills and experience to add to your resume and cover letter that will help you stand out in your future academic or professional pursuits
- Share resources that could positively impact the lives of the members of your campus community
- Create and fulfill your own position of leadership within your campus community to help address a concern
- Be recognized on our website, social and other media communications (if desired)
- Join a community of likeminded individuals
- Help defeat the stigma around mental health through education and group self-care activities
- Opportunity to bond/share stories/collaborate with likeminded but unique individuals by joining the Agents4Change Facebook Group
- Have the opportunity to win free swag by participating in mini Agents4Change contests
- Receive free access to workshops/trainings
- Receive a certificate of completion for your time as a volunteer with MHC
- Receive an honorary certificate of completion of the Agent4sChange Pilot Program to commemorate your contributions to MHC
- Opportunity to provide blog post or connect MHC to potential guest bloggers in the community
- Receive information on national and local resources to share with your community
Agents4Change are allies of MHC, they are not official staff and are not condoned to intervene in serious mental health crisis situations, or to advise medically in anyway. Agents4Change are volunteers of MHC and a steppingstone to outside resources.
Applications for the MHC Agents4Change Pilot Program are being accepted now.
About the Creator:
Brayden Ransom, a current graduate student at the University of Hartford and Mental Health Connecticut’s Marketing and Communication Assistant developed Agents4Change based off the increasing need for student-led mental health focused initiatives on college campuses. Brayden’s passion for mental health stems from her father’s Bipolar diagnosis. Growing up, Brayden was afforded the opportunity to become educated and understand mental illness in a way that demystifies stigma and further develops our own understanding of whole health. Now, Brayden plans to work closely with Agents4Change members to support them on their projects and to gain understanding of the community needs that aren’t being met and the solution-based initiatives that will create true lasting change.