Getting Involved

Getting involved in mental health work on and off-campus can be a great way to meet others who have similar experiences to you, be a way for you to share your story, and feel part of a community at U-M.

“On those days when everything seems like it’s too much to bear, I’ve learned that stepping outside myself can really help. Volunteering gives me the perspective I need to shift my own negative outlook. It’s the perfect reminder that you are valued, especially during those times when you can’t always remember it yourself.”

The Depression Center has three ways that U-M students can get involved:

  1. The Depression Center Student Advisory Board – This advisory board is made up of undergraduate and graduate students at U-M who advise on Depression Center outreach and education initiatives for college students. Board members are also encouraged to share these initiatives with other groups they are involved in. Past board member projects include advising on website revision, suggesting topics for wellness groups, and helping link other mental health initiatives on campus. To apply to be a board member, email Will Heininger: wjsh@umich.edu.
  2. Depression on College Campuses Conference Committee – This committee is made up of students, staff, and faculty throughout campus who are involved in student life. Two students every year serve on the committee. The committee advises and helps provide outreach for the annual Depression on College Campuses Conference. Committee members attend 4 meetings a year to determine conference theme, conference sessions, awardees, and encourage their peers/colleagues to attend. If you are interested in joining the committee, email Stephanie Salazar: sawaters@umich.edu.
  3. Speaking to middle and high schools – The Depression Center’s Peer to Peer Depression Awareness Campaign program works with middle and high schools in the Ann Arbor area to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and promote help-seeking for mental health. In the past, U-M students have shared their personal story with mental health with these younger students. If you are interested in sharing your story with schools, please email Lizelle Salazar: lsalazar@umich.edu.

In addition to opportunities through the Depression Center, there are a number of student groups on campus:

  • Active Minds: Active Minds at the University of Michigan is a chapter of a national nonprofit organization that focuses on fostering student mental wellness. It is dedicated to encouraging students to prioritize mental health, connecting students to on-campus mental health resources, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health through education, and creating an inclusive and compassionate community.
  • CAPS Student Advisory Board (SAB): The CAPS SAB is a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students who advise CAPS on matters of mental health outreach to all students, provides input on various agency decisions, and is involved in staff searches.
  • CAPS In Action (CIA): CIA is for University of Michigan students who are dedicated to making the U of M community a more holistically healthy environment. This is an active and hands-on group, focused on creating and implementing mental health outreach efforts that empower students to enhance a culture of care and inclusion.  CIA is facilitated by CAPS professionals and supports CAPS outreach initiatives.
  • Central Student Government: Student Health and Safety Commission: The Student Health and Safety Commission (SHSC) is an executive commission within the Central Student Government (CSG) dedicated to promoting various aspects of health (mental, physical, sexual..etc) and safety of all students on campus.
  • Mentality Magazine: Mentality Magazine is a publication written by U-M students that aims to educate people about mental health, share personal stories of people who have had experiences with mental health, and report on mental health developments/news within the University of Michigan community. In this publication, readers can learn how to help themselves or their friends who may be struggling and find the resources they may need.
  • NAMI on Campus: The National Alliance for Mental Illness is the largest grass-roots mental health organization in America. NAMI on Campus acts as an extension of this organization and is a student-led mental health policy organization that aims to tackle mental health issues on campus by raising awareness and educating the community with a special focus on advocating for progressive mental health law and policy change.
  • Out of the Darkness at University of Michigan: This chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is part of a national organization of community and campus chapters across the country, created to prevent suicide and provide hope for those affected by suicide. It serves University of Michigan students by advocating for their mental health, raising and allocating funds towards mental health resources and suicide prevention tools, collaborating with other University of Michigan organizations to improve existing opportunities to serve our students, and organizing the annual Out of the Darkness walks.
  • PULSE: PULSE is a UHS-sponsored student organization of trained health, wellness, and social justice advocates who are available across campus and active in residence halls and Greek houses. They promote health, wellness and social justice through individual conversations, event planning and health promotion. PULSE members help students maintain or enhance their health and wellness, and create an inclusive community.
  • Students For Recovery (SFR): SFR is a voluntary student organization that is sponsored by UHS. Students meet regularly to socialize as well as to plan and participate in service projects in the local community. If you are in recovery, thinking about recovery, or supportive of recovery, you are welcome to attend our meetings.
  • Wolverine Support Network (WSN): WSN empowers University of Michigan students to create an inclusive community and support each other’s identity, mental well-being, and day-to-day lives through peer-facilitated groups and bi-weekly community events.

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