Validate, Appreciate, Refer by Active Minds

VAR Validate Logo

Let them know what they’re feeling is okay and that you believe them.

VAR Appreciate Logo

Speaking up can be a challenging step — let them know it’s a good one. Also show you’re there to support them.

VAR Refer Logo

Let them know help is available and refer them to appropriate resources.

What is Basic V-A-R?

Basic V-A-R is Active Minds’ everyday guide for everyday challenges. It’s about showing up for one another in our everyday struggles.

The letters V-A-R correspond to three steps: Validate-Appreciate-Refer. The steps are easy-to-understand, easy-to-do, and easy-to-remember. They provide a guide to listening and responding in a helpful way.

V-A-R conversations can take many forms — phone, in-person, text message, Facetime. The medium doesn’t matter as much as the message that you care (Active Minds, 2020).

Auburn University now offers V-A-R Training!

V-A-R training can last anywhere from 10-30 minutes. To bring a trained V-A-R facilitator from Active Minds at Auburn University to your student organization, department, or office please email Active Minds Adviser, Chase Chaplin, at