From the Nominator
"Each Monday of the regular semester, beginning in October of 2021, we asked students to engage with Instagram Stories to rate their mental health. Understanding the deep roots of mental illness (long before industry research backed our ideas with numbers), we created interactive modalities to directly connect with our students.
Each week, we reach out to students who rate their mental health as "poor" or "sad face" or "crying emoji" and ask how they are doing. In the first week, the team held full conversations with more than 30 students and spoke to an additional five who did not even attend our institution, but just needed a kind ear. Over the following weeks, we were able to keep in touch with students who reached out previously and assist additional students. We partnered with our Dean of Students and Mental Health services to provide resources to individuals and help craft content for proactive outreach beyond the interactive stickers.
These efforts provided valuable insights into the mental health of our students and gave us quantitative and qualitative data to bring to senior leaders, helping address the mental health crisis on campus."
From the Judges
This approached an important issue with tact and energy. It promoted access to mental health resources in a way that removes barriers to the viewer.