Minds Ahead

The STARR Minds Ahead program focuses on educating students about clinical research, mental health, and stigma reduction in addition to raising awareness of career options within the clinical research field.

For over a decade, the clinical research workforce has been shrinking.  According to Freel, et al. (2023), it “has now reached crisis point, with the potential to curtail medical advances for years to come.” The demand for clinical research professionals is only expected to increase in the coming years. It is now crucial that our young people become aware about how it can be possible for them to make a difference in progressing clinical development of new treatment options through intentionally choosing a career in the clinical research field.

The objective of Minds Ahead is to connect with high schools and colleges to speak with students about mental health clinical research. Participating students will have the opportunity to learn more about clinical research and explore potential career paths in the clinical research field based on their interests. This program will also address the need to diversify the clinical research workforce to better serve our diverse populations.

It is now more important than ever that youth mental health is made a priority. According to the CDC, since the start of the pandemic, psychological distress of students has increased with data showing symptoms of anxiety and depression having doubled among youth globally. During the program, mental health and stigma reduction education will be given with the aim of improving emotional awareness and allowing youth to feel empowered during discussions of mental health. Students will be given educational materials and resources.

Students who participate in the program will have the opportunity to become a Minds Ahead Ambassador and will be provided with volunteer opportunities for service hours. Minds Ahead Ambassadors’ will receive additional support that will allow them to raise awareness of mental health and clinical research in their community.

Minds Ahead originated in South Florida and plans to expand throughout the US. We will continue to collaborate with other clinical research professionals and mental health advocacy partners who are interested in assisting with and growing the program.


If you have any questions or would like to speak with us about participating in this program, please contact us.

Email: action@thestarr.org
Phone: 501-725-8890

The STARR Minds Ahead program was created and is wholly owned by The STARR Coalition, a nonprofit organization working with thought-leaders throughout the research industry and advocacy to find ways to reduce stigma associated with mental health disorders and build relationships between clinical research sites and the advocacy groups within their community.



Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10504806/