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Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship Project- Developing a Campaign to Support College Students with Mental Illnesses


Investigators: Patrick Corrigan and Kristin Sokol


The   mission   of   this   project is to produce a sticker campaign aimed at promoting an environment of support and increasing the solidarity of people illness with mental on college campuses.  The project proposal was inspired by the work of the LGBT community and the success of their “Safe Space” sticker campaign. The project, to date, has involved several steps.  First, a variety of “Expert Interviews” were conducted with experts in the field of mental health and mental health stigma to gain perspective on some of the issues that should be considered in the development of this campaign, to get preliminary ideas from these experts on their thoughts regarding a logo, mission, and brand for the campaign, and to assist with the development of her Focus Group Guidebook.  Following these interviews, a Focus Group Guidebook was developed which was used in both the focus groups and later key informant interviews.  The three focus groups which have been conducted to date consisted of students, staff, and Residence Hall Directors on Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Main Campus.  Individual Key Informant Interviews were conducted with IIT faculty members and staff from the IITCounseling Center.  The total number of participants in this study to date is 23.  The next steps for this project include conducting a set of focus groups with students on IIT’s campus who identify as having a mental illness, conducting qualitative data analysis of the focus group and key informant interview data, replicating the study at other institutions, and translating the results into a campaign logo and mission.