CHICAGO—Today, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, was announced as a winner of the 2016 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award. The prestigious award celebrates U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate excellence in prioritizing and promoting the health and well-being of their students, and SAIC is one of only six colleges across the U.S. to receive the award.
Given by Active Minds, a nonprofit for supporting the mental health of students, the Healthy Campus Award involves an extensive application process as well as multiple endorsements and interviews. Each applicant is assessed across eight criteria, with winners chosen by a panel of prominent researchers and health and higher education experts. SAIC joins five other colleges and universities in receiving the Healthy Campus Award: California State University, Long Beach; Jefferson College; Lawrence University; Sacramento State University; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The review panel for the Healthy Campus Award recognized SAIC’s commitment to offering needed health and wellness services and resources to students, and cited a number of initiatives, including:
- Transgender student support, including changes in the health insurance plan to cover gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy. Additionally, SAIC’s training curriculum on transgender student health is a model for counseling and health professionals.
- Using data-driven resources to secure grants in order to increase our support of mental health on campus. SAIC consistently measures the impact of its efforts to demonstrate progress and inform programming.
- Campus-wide initiatives, including participation in a national research study to assess the connection between positive mental health and academic outcomes over the next several years.
“The School of the Art Institute of Chicago stands out because it invests in students’ physical and mental health on a comprehensive scale and for the long term,” said Alison Malmon, executive director and founder of Active Minds. “SAIC is a model of what’s possible when a college prioritizes a campus culture of health, safety and well-being.”
SAIC has had a longstanding commitment to providing mental health and wellness services and, in 2013, the School was one of the first 30 colleges and universities to be awarded the JedCampus Seal from the Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college and university students. The seal recognizes schools that exhibit comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide prevention programming on campus. Subsequently, SAIC was among the first 55 schools to join the the Jed & Clinton Health Matters Campus Program, a four-year commitment to evaluate and identify opportunities to expand and improve campus mental health services and support.
The Healthy Campus Award is made possible through the generous support of The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. Additional resources are available from Active Minds, including photos and a downloadable summary called “Key Findings from the Nation’s Healthiest Campuses.”
About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.
About the Healthy Campus Award
The Active Minds Healthy Campus Award recognizes higher education institutions that provide access to good quality healthcare and take a comprehensive approach to promoting and protecting both the physical and mental health of students. The award criteria–which includes a focus on long-term solutions and data-driven measures–align with the Healthy Campus 2020 framework and characteristics established by the American College Health Association, the Strategic Primer on College Student Mental Health produced by NASPA: Administrators in Higher Education, the American Psychological Association, the American Council on Education, and the TJF/SPRC Comprehensive Model for Mental Health Protection and Suicide Prevention.
About Active Minds
Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit for supporting the mental health of students. Through award-winning programs and services, Active Minds is empowering a new generation to speak openly, act courageously, and change the conversation about mental health for everyone. Active Minds has student-led chapters at more than 400 colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide and internationally, and is headquartered in Washington, DC. Follow us on Facebook at ActiveMindsInc and on Twitter and Instagram at @Active_Minds.