2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference

January 19 – January 21, 2017
Austin, TX

The 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference will provide student affairs practitioners with the knowledge and skills to effectively address college student mental health through a variety of integrative approaches. This conference is part of the NASPA Strategies Conferences, which include the 2017 NASPA Alcohol, Other Drug, and Campus Violence Prevention Conference and the 2017 NASPA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conference.

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Colleges and universities are not isolated from the complexities of today’s world and today’s student arrives on campus with similarly complex mental health and well-being concerns. Colleges and universities consistently report an increase in both the number of students with mental health problems and the complexity and severity of issues. If left untreated, these problems impact students’ emotional and social development as well as their academic success and retention. Mental health and well-being are precursors to meaningful learning, making it critical for institutions of higher education to develop services that are accessible to students while removing stigma from help seeking behaviors.

Student affairs administrators, faculty, resident directors, and counselors are often on the front lines with distressed students, and they - along with many other campus constituencies - are searching for ways to best serve students' individual needs and those of the student body as a whole. Because mental health issues present in various campus settings and they affect not just the individual student but the campus as a whole, successful approaches require collaboration between campus departments and between a college and the local community.

Learning Objectives

Attend this conference to:

  • Evaluate the scope of student mental health problems on campus and better understand current trends and issues within student mental health;
  • Discover and compare ideas to promote increased access and education to mental health services for students;
  • Engage in conversations about innovative and effective programming to support student mental health;
  • Understand the keys to successful cross-campus collaboration in mental health services;
  • Explore ways in which mental health intersects with both violence prevention and response and substance abuse on campus to develop and enhance prevention, intervention and response.

Continuing Education will be available at this conference. Click here for more information on Continuing Education and frequently asked questions.


Presented By

Wellness and Health Promotion


This event is most likely to influence these groups.


Let others know you are coming!

Use this hashtag to see what others are sharing #NASPAStrategies17

Call for Programs

The Call for Programs is now closed

Thank you for all the excellent submissions to the 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference.

Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

  • Current Trends and Issues in Student Mental Health

    • What are the current issues in student mental health on campus and how are they being addressed?
    • How are you assessing and identifying the scope of student mental health problems on campus? 
    • What innovative approaches do you employ to address the breadth of mental health problems on your campus?

  • Access and Education of Student Mental Health Services

    • How are your campus efforts meeting the needs of all groups, including veterans, first generation students, students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, and students with visible and invisible disabilities?
    • How can your campus develop or expand access to mental health resources?
    • What strategies on various stages of the prevention continuum have you found to be effective? What has not been effective?
    • How do you evaluate new programs and products to address collegiate mental health issues?
    • What strategies do you employ to gain support from administration and faculty?
    • What strategies has your campus utilized to sustain or expand mental health services and resources to students? 

  • Successful and Innovative Programming

    • What programs exist to remove stigma associated with help seeking behavior?
    • What programming exists on a campus-wide basis to support and promote mental health?
    • What innovative programs and/or services have been created on your campus to support students' mental health during transitions (e.g., first-year, sophomore, junior, and senior, veteran programming)?
    • What innovative programs involving collaborative efforts by Disability Services and Counseling Centers are available?
    • What kind of training exists to disseminate knowledge and skills to key stakeholders needed to create a campus environment that promotes student mental health?
    • How have you involved students in promoting mental health and reducing the stigma associated with help seeking behaviors?

  • Cross-Campus Collaboration and Coordination

    • What is your model of collaboration, and how does your infrastructure synchronize efforts to serve students with mental health concerns? Do integrated counseling and health centers work? If so, how have you successfully implemented this model?
    • What inter-department or inter-division prevention and intervention services have been implemented in order to promote students' mental health and well-being (e.g., career services, athletics, academic support, student activities, public safety, etc.)?  
    • Who is included when creating and implementing policies and procedures related to mental health?  How do they collaborate?
    • Who on campus is screening students and how are at-risk screening results communicated among campus services?
    • What changes, generally, in disruptive or unhealthy student behaviors have you observed, and how have you addressed them throughout the campus?
    • What do senior student affairs officers, presidents, parents and others want to know and what can counselors legally tell them?
    • What new initiatives has your campus implemented to address issues related to staffing, hours of operation, training of faculty, or wait time for students?
    • What role does the community play in your efforts?
    • How do you access local, state, regional, and national resources to help address mental health concerns on campus?

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.

Submission Timeline
  • July 15, 2016
    Call for Programs Opens
  • September 15, 2016
    Call for Programs Deadline
  • October 7, 2016
    Presenter Notificiations
  • October 14, 2016
    Presenter Confirmation Deadline

Writing Tips

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.


Please contact NASPA if you have any further questions about submitting a program proposal for the 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference.

David Arnold

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference occurs at the same place and time as the 2017 NASPA Alcohol, Other Drug, and Campus Violence Prevention and 2017 NASPA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conferences. Participants can attend sessions from any of the conferences.

The Strategies Conferences will also feature exhibits in the 4th and 6th floor ballroom foyers. A complete list of exhibitors can be found here.

Thu, Jan 19

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Workshops
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Conference Welcome and Plenary Speaker
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
College Student Well-Being: Exploring the Relationships Among Pre-existing Vulnerabilities, Distress, and Suicidality
Chris Brownson, PhD, Associate VP for Student Affairs; Director, Counseling & Mental Health Center; Director, National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Ed - University of Texas at Austin
If you host it, will they come? Programming strategies community college to law
Katherine Bender, Assistant Professor - Bridgewater State University
The Classroom: What's happening within? What are students bringing In? What can be done for them?
Stephanie Lancet, M.Ed. Student - Teachers College Columbia University
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Mini-Institute Sessions
Mitigating the College Mental Health Crisis: Prevention and Response Across the Lifespan
Dr. Kristen Lee, Lead Faculty Behavioral Science LICSW - Northeastern University
Promoting a Culture of Care through Peer-led Coaching Initiatives
James Larcus, Wellness Coaching Coordinator - The Ohio State University
Using Technology to Create Innovative and Effective Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Programs: A Discussion
Marian Trattner, Suicide Prevention Coordinator - Counseling and Mental Health Center, The University of Texas at Austin
6:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Opening Reception and Poster Sessions

Fri, Jan 20

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Exhibits Open
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Mental Health Promotion: A Brief Mindfulness Intervention to Reduce Student Anxiety
Sabrina Rubin, Program Director Health Promotion and Education - Hunter College
Living Well - Addressing mental health through residential community initiatives
Anne-Marie Hantman, Area Coordinator - University Housing - University of South Carolina
Tech Ends Suicide Together: Implementing a Zero Suicide Initiative at Georgia Tech
Ruperto Perez, Director Counseling Center - Georgia Institute of Technology
Think Big: Using large-scale interventions to improve student mental health
Jessica Gifford, Mental Health Educator - Amherst College
Sponsored Session: What You Need to Know About Campus Climate Surveys
S. Daniel Carter, Campus Security Consultant
Sponsored Session: How Can You Aid in Addiction Treatment
McKay Whiting, Founder of recoveryas.com
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Fresh Check Day: A Fresh Approach to Campus Mental Health Promotion
Alexandra Katz, Outreach Coordinator - Jordan Porco Foundation
Jump Starting Your Suicide Prevention Efforts: Lessons from SPRC's Virtual Learning Lab
Bonnie Lipton, Campus Prevention Specialist - Suicide Prevention Resource Center at Education Development Center
Making Data Work for You: Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) Directors Toolkit
Ariella Soffer, Ph.D. - Hunter College / CUNY
Trans Inclusion in Support of Student Safety, Mental Health and Academic Success
Donn Marshall, Director of Counseling Health and Wellness Services - University of Puget Sound
Sponsored Session: How to Leverage Technology to Exceed Compliance and Make Breakthrough Impact
Rob Buelow, Vice President of Partner Education, EverFi
Sponsored Session: Improving the Emotional Wellness, Resiliency and Success of Students through the Power of Conversations with Virtual Humans
Karen Carlucci, LCSW; Director, Mental Health Strategic Partnerships at Kognito
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Conference Break
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Plenary Sessions
2:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Mini-Institute Sessions
After the Storm: Facilitating a Coordinated Response in the Wake of Suicide
Melinda Scott, Dean of Students - University of Toronto
Crossing Cultures and Sharing Goals: Wellness, Prevention and Health Promotion
Paula Swinford, Crossing Cultures and Sharing Goals: Wellness Prevention and Health Promotion - University of Southern California
Retention and On-Time Graduation: Leveraging Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention to Support Academic Success
David Reetz, Director Counseling and Psychological Services - Rochester Institute of Technology
Transforming Health Promotion with Design Thinking
Todd Gibbs, Wellness Coaching Program Manager - The Ohio State University
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Addressing Black Collegiate Mental Wellness Through Innovative Approaches
Harold Brown, Coordinator of Greek Life - Vanderbilt University
College Student Depression: The Importance of Collaboration with Psychiatrists and Parents
Marcia Morris, MD, Psychiatrist - University of Florida
Transforming Mental Health Education during New Student Orientation Using Interactive Peer Theater
Christine Vuolo - St. John's University
Using Innovation and Department Integration to Address the Mental Health Needs of International Students
Tiffany Ciprian, Associate Director of Counseling and Wellness - New York Institute of Technology

Sat, Jan 21

7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Exhibits Open
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
"They'll Kick Me Out": Addressing Student Fear of Mental Health Help-Seeking
Michael Olin, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students - Princeton University
The Steve Fund: Innovations and Collaborations in Addressing Student of Color Wellbeing
David Rivera, Associate Professor - Queens College-City University of New York
Using innovation and creativity to reduce stigma and barriers to counseling services
Karen Hofmann, Director - University of Central Florida
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Building Campus-Wide Understanding of Students with Autism
Lee Williams, Director of Higher Education Training and Development - College Autism Network
#SelfCare: Supporting Student Staff in Times of Crisis
Susan Lawhead, Community Director - North Carolina State University
A Public Health Approach to Mental Health on UChicago's Campus
Julie Edwards, Director Health Promotion and Wellness - The University of Chicago
It Takes a Village: Comprehensive Care for Underrepresented Student Populations
Thomas Van Norman, Assistant Director Purdue Promise - Purdue University
Suicide Prevention and Mental Health: It's Not Just for Counseling Centers Any More
Stephanie Robertson, Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences - Tarleton State University
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Conference Closing and Plenary Speaker

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

Pre-conference workshops for the 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference are listed below. There is an additional registration fee to attend pre-conference workshops and they may be added to your conference registration at any time.

Wellness and Health Promotion Directors' Pre-Conference Workshop (Two-Day Pre-Con)

Wednesday, January 18th • 01.00 PM – 04.00 PM

Targeting Wellness and Health Promotion Directors, this pre-conference workshop and the corresponding tracked sessions will provide an opportunity for primary leaders of campus health promotion and wellness to share the knowledge and understanding of effective and innovative strategies with one another and with invited upper-level administrators. Invited speakers and participants will discuss pertinent wellness issues such as Title IX requirements, college student drinking, and student mental health. Participants will leave with a collection of evidence informed practices and ways to collaborate to enhance comprehensive wellness efforts.

Wellness and Health Promotion Directors' Pre-Conference Workshop (Two-Day Pre-Con)

Thursday, January 19th • 0 – 0

BASICS, Brief Interventions, and Beyond: "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose"

Thursday, January 19th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) is an evidence-based individual-focused prevention strategy. Yet, as personalized feedback, delivery modalities, topics covered, and sessions themselves vary in content, length, and approach, what does it mean to “do BASICS” with fidelity? This workshop will review the steps involved in G. Alan Marlatt’s original BASICS; examine subsequent published studies and lessons learned from these; explore newer interventions for cannabis, gambling, medication misuse, and depression; discuss implementation issues; and consider future directions.

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In this pre-conference workshop, we will review what it means to deliver BASICS with fidelity, review the studies that have evaluated BASICS (including any adjustments/alterations to the original content and approach), and discuss next steps in the application of BASICS on college campus.  Additionally, we will review other advances in brief interventions, including personalized feedback intervention (PFI) approaches for cannabis, gambling, mild depression, and non-medical use of prescription stimulants (currently being evaluated).  Other potential applications of brief interventions with college students will also be discussed as we consider future directions.  Finally, being in Austin, site of the iconic television show “Friday Night Lights,” we will utilize the show’s rally cry, “Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose” to explore the importance of the provision of accurate feedback, the valuable role of empathy in brief interventions, and the practical and empirical lessons learned that will set a campus up for success with their implementation.

Specific content will include:

  • Revisit the elements of BASICS as it was initially designed
  • Provide a detailed summary of the research articles on BASICS that were included in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA’s) College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (CollegeAIM).
  • Highlight research that was released following the final study included in CollegeAIM
  • Review implementation opportunities, lessons learned, and challenges
  • Describe brief interventions for cannabis (e.g., Christine Lee’s PFI; Lee et al., 2013)
  • Describe brief interventions for depressed mood (e.g., Geisner, et al., 2006)
  • Describe brief interventions for gambling
  • Describe a new brief intervention for non-medical use of prescription stimulants (NIDA grant to Irene Geisner, Jason Kilmer, Amelia Arria, and Dolores Cimini)
  •  Consider next steps and future directions
  •  Discussion and Q&A among participants and presenters

Identity, Values, and Community Change

Thursday, January 19th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

This workshop series explores the multiple factors that shape individual and group identities and how those forces impact one’s privilege (or lack thereof) and perception in society. Through individual and small-group activities, members explore how their identities are simultaneously supported and compromised by the social norms and cultural practices of their group affiliation(s). Participants will critically examine group dynamics, assess their organizational processes, and learn how to create more transparent internal systems of accountability and build coalitions within and across social networks.

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The workshop series is divided into three parts. Each session includes critical reflection, strengths-based activities, small and large-group discussion, and case study analysis. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing from evidence-based public health theories of change (social cognitive theory, theory of reasoned action, and theory of planned behavior), as well as Bernice Johnson Reagon's black feminist activism detailing the challenges of coalition politics and coalition-building.  A brief outline including intended learning outcomes is provided below.

Understanding the complex ways that one's identity, values, and actions impact the social norms and cultural systems that govern and facilitate inequity, harm, and violence is integral to successful behavior change communication programs and intersectional anti-oppression activism. Before a student organization, department, office, institution, or group of people can critically assess the cultural values and social systems that govern their actions, a deep understanding of the various identities held by existing group members is necessary. This workshop series explores the multiple factors that shape individual and group identity and how those forces impact one’s privilege (or lack thereof) and perception in society. Through individual and small-group activities, members explore how their identities are simultaneously supported and compromised by the values and practices of their group affiliation(s). Through critically examining group dynamics and assessing their organizational practices, they learn how to create more transparent internal systems of accountability and build coalitions within and across social networks that facilitate more equitable, accessible, and inclusive spaces for all people.


Registration as a member is based on individual membership status. If you are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as an individual member at the $75 rate. This gives you the conference registration and a year of membership for less than the non-member registration fee.  If your institution is NOT a member, then you will need to join at the associate affiliate rate of $242 and then you can pay the individual member rate for conference registration.  Visit the Membership section of the NASPA website to learn about membership types.

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Registration Fees

Early Bird
before 11/21/2016
Regular Registration
11/22/2016 to 12/21/2016
Late Registration
after 12/22/2016
NASPA Member
NASPA Student Member


Tonya Murphy
Membership Coordinator
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 202-265-7500 ext. 1183


View Registration Policies

Refunds will be given for cancellations, received in writing by November 4, 2016, less a $50.00 processing fee. In addition, a processing fee of $50.00 per registration will be charged for credit cards declined. We are unable to change payment methods after the initial payment is processed. With prior approval, anyone registered but who cannot attend may send a substitute. Substitution information must come in writing from the registered participant. The institutional membership status of the substitute must be the same as the registrant in order to have the same registration fee applied. Additional charges may apply if the membership status is not the same. The conference may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, registration fees will be refunded; however, NASPA will not be responsible for additional costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, and/or travel agencies. NASPA is not responsible for weather-related travel delays or other issues in regard to personal travel and no refunds will be given due to these occurrences. NOTE: All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing events@naspa.org. Due to our food and beverage requirements, no refunds will be granted after November 4, 2016. Registration Questions? Contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail at events@naspa.org.


  • Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston

    Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston

    Senior Vice President for Student Life
    The Ohio State University

    Speaker Bio

  • Don McPherson

    Don McPherson

    Speaker Bio

  • Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin

    Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin

    Vice President for Student Affairs
    Northwestern University

    Speaker Bio


NASPA would like to thank the below Strategies Conference Supporters:

Gold Level
  • Campus Answers
  • EverFi
  • Recoveryas
Silver Level
  • Caron Treatment Centers
  • Medicat
  • Kognito
Bronze Level
  • Prevent Connection
  • National Alliance to End Sexual Violence


Hilton Austin

Hilton Austin
Austin, TX

All conference activities will take place at the Hilton Austin.

The hotel cutoff date to reserve your room at the group rate for the Hilton Austin has passed. If you have any questions related to housing for this conference, please contact Greg Morris at gmorris@naspa.org

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