Author: Cat Madish

What is the Healthy Minds Survey?

The Healthy Minds Survey is a campus-wide survey that will be available to Michigan Tech students until October 15th at 5 pm. The Healthy Minds Survey is a questionnaire that was launched in 2007 in order to examine mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students— it now is used by over 400 colleges and universities in what is known as the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health.

What can I expect from the survey?

Participation is easy and rewarding, only taking 25 minutes. The survey has a bunch of multiple-choice questions that were interesting and thought-provoking to answer. The survey starts off with some generic questions such as gender, age, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity. Following this, it asks questions about your socioeconomic status, food security, and a plethora of questions about education and college life. Other questions involve citizenship status, disability status, military status, and religious affiliation. Many of these questions have an “other” or “prefer not to answer” option, and none of them are required. 

In the next section, the survey asks Likert scale as well as multiple-choice questions about mental and emotional health. Some of these questions involve suicide, eating disorders, sexual assault, discrimination, substance use, exercise, sleep, COVID-19, and guns. Next, it asks questions about service and support such as therapy and medications. Building on top of that, the survey then asks about your knowledge and beliefs about those services as well as your own knowledge about mental health. It also asks a few questions about how you would handle difficult situations on campus. Then, the survey asks about the mental health climate and culture on campus. At the end of the survey, it asks you if you would like personalized feedback on your answers, which can help you understand how you are in relation to mental health challenges.

All of the questions are confidential and voluntary. Therefore, if you do not feel like answering one, you do not have to. If you would like to view the questions before taking them, you can view the 2021-2022 questionnaire on their website. By taking this survey, you agree to become a part of a de-identified national and aggregate data set. Typically, data is also blinded in relation to schools, except in cases where researchers wish to compare institutions, are doing a regional analysis, or wish to compare other mental health programs. Here is the most exciting part of this survey: upon finishing the survey, you will be entered into a sweepstake to win 1 of 2 $500 prizes or 1 of 10 $100 prizes. The drawing will be held in the summer of 2022 by the researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Winners will be notified by email.

How is my data utilized?

Universities that participate in the Healthy Minds Survey receive customized data sets, data reports, access to the interactive data interface data reports, and even an Economic analysis of mental health services. Universities may use this data in a number of ways. According to their page on benefits, the The Healthy Minds Survey may be used to:

  • Support and strengthen Grant application
  • To advocate for mental health services and programs on campus
  • To evaluate existing programs 
  • To assess the need for programs and services 
  • To assess the training programs or the need for training programs
  • To raise awareness of mental health and campus resources
  • To make comparisons with peer institutions
  • To educate and inform the community about the state of Student Mental Health on campus
  • To inform the Board of Trustees about students attitudes and behaviors regarding mental health
  • To give presentations to faculty and staff

Michigan Tech is in general very interested in the well-being of its students, but has three important questions in mind for this survey: 

  • How has COVID-19 affected our campus community’s well-being? 
  • With respect to well-being, what are some high-risk areas that our students are reporting?
  • How does our Healthy Minds Survey differ this year from 2018?

Now that you know what it is, what to expect, as well as how your data is used, please remember to take the survey!