2018 NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference

January 18 – January 20, 2018
Portland, OR

We're excited about the 2019 NASPA Strategies Conference in Washington, DC. This will include the 2019 NASPA Mental Health Conference. For more information, click here.

The 2018 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 2018 NASPA Alcohol, Other Drug, and Campus Violence Prevention Conference, the 2018 NASPA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conference, and the 2018 NASPA Well-Being and Health Promotion Leadership Conference.

Register Online


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.

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National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

NASPA has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5120. Programs that do not quality for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NASPA is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

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National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC)

NASPA is a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES).

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National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886679822-2809) for 12 continuing education contact hours.

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Continuing Education for Psychologists

The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. AUCCCD maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

All forms and information will be provided at the conference.

Click here for more information on Continuing Education and frequently asked questions.

If you have questions about Continuing Education, please contact Teri Gillmor at tgillmor@naspa.org.


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Call for Programs

The Call for Programs is closed. Thank you for your submissions!

The conference planning committee encourages program proposals regarding proven practices with content that will engage participants in fruitful discussions and provide meaningful content to bring back to their campuses. The outline/description should be lengthy enough to give the reviewers an understanding of your program session. It should also address the following points:

  •  Goals of presentation.
  • Lengthy description about session content that you will present.
  • Relationship of the program to the conference themes outlined on the website.
  • Identification of the program format (e.g., lecture, panel, debate) including methods for participant involvement (e.g., discussion, effective practice sharing, case study analysis).
  • Evidence of the conceptual foundation for proposal content including ways the program content is grounded in research, relevant experience, a cogent model, or appropriate theory.

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?

  • Cultural and Identity Considerations in College Mental Health

    • What barriers to access exist for sub-populations of campus?
    • How do mental health providers and campus administrators avoid implicit bias surrounding mental health?
    • In what ways can campus address social justice and identity related stess?
    • How are services addressing student ability status, service and assistance animals, Title II, and involuntary medical withdrawal?
    • How can campus mental health providers and administrators provide inclusive services to the entire student body?
    • What programs provide comprehensive services to help students with an Autism diagnosis navigate campus environments (e.g. Title IX)?
    • What considerations are in place for the recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse staff who provide mental health services?

  • 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? 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.)?  
    • 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
  • April 28, 2017
    Call for Programs Opens
  • September 15, 2017
    Call for Programs Deadline
  • October 6, 2017
    Presenter Notification
  • October 13, 2017
    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 2018 NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference.

David Arnold
Director of BACCHUS Initiatives
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The 2018 NASPA Mental Health Conference occurs at the same place and time as the 2018 NASPA Well-Being and Health Promotion Conference, the 2018 Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conference and the 2018 NASPA Alcohol, Other Drug, and Campus Violence Prevention Conferences. Participants can attend sessions from any of the conferences. To view the full NASPA Strategies Conferences schedule, click here.

Thu, Jan 18

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Workshops
Zero Suicide: Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Assessment for College Campuses
Ruperto Perez, associate vice president for student health and wellbeing - University of Alabama
1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hours (optional)
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Conference Welcome and Opening Panel
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Mindset Interventions: low-cost, large-scale strategies to improve mental health
Jessica Gifford, associate director of health education for mental health promotion - Amherst College
The Three Step Theory of Suicide: Applications for Campus-Based Suicide Prevention
Brian Mistler, executive director, student health and wellbeing services - Humboldt State University
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Changing the Culture of Mental Health on Campus Through Evaluation
Debbie Bruckner, senior director, student wellness, access, and support - University of Calgary
Friend2Friend: Developing Student Skills to Responding and Referring Friends in Distress
Alicia Czachowski, health promotion specialist - Columbia University
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Innovation with Fidelity: Integrating Mental Health Screening into BASICS
Brooke Chehoski, PhD student - University of South Carolina
Increasing Student Health, Well-being, and Retention: A Scalable and Personalized Approach
Kate Simonds, student health coordinator and prevention specialist - Colorado Mesa University
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Embracing Neurodiversity: A Model for Changing Campus Culture
Betsy Smith, director of counseling and wellness - Massachusetts College of Art and Design
How Counseling Centers assist campuses impacted by divisive social and political events
Mary Chandler Bolin, director, UK Counseling Center - University of Kentucky
6:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Opening Reception and Poster Sessions
A Mixed-Methods Approach to Increase Mental Health Literacy Among Male Undergraduate Students
Amy Gatto, prevention coordinator - University of South Florida
Mental Health Promotion: What are the Stress and Coping Mechanisms of First-generation, Low-income (FGLI) College Students
Betel Trephan, graduate student - University of Pennsylvania
An understanding of the relationship between birth control and depression in college-aged women
Jamie Paola, MPH candidate - University of South Florida
Poetry Summit for LGBTQ Students: Poetry Therapy and Coping Mechanisms on Campuses
Jeremy Berry - Texas A&M University- Central Texas
The Wellness Series: A Collaborative Model Transforming Well-being Interventions of College Campuses.
Connie Briscoe, director of wellness center - Rollins College
Using Developmental Theory as a Language for Student Affairs Professionals
Adam Gregory, - Northern Illinois University

Fri, Jan 19

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hours
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
A Curricular Approach to Student Mental Health Concerns in Residential Communities
Susan Lawhead, community director - NC State University
Using Case Management Data to Inform Practice and Develop Campus Trainings
Makenzie Schiemann, director, student outreach and support and director, center for victim advocacy - University of South Florida Tampa
We're on the Same Team: Engaging Athletics as Partners in Mental Health
Jennifer Jacobsen, director of wellness and prevention and assistant dean of students - Grinnell College
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Assistance and Support Animals on Campus: Understanding the Differences, Capitalizing on the Opportunities, and Navigating the Challenges
M. Dolores Cimini, assistant director for prevention and program evaluation - University at Albany SUNY
Changing the Culture and Outcomes of Mental Health on Campus
Andrew Szeto, director, campus mental health strategy - University of Calgary
Transferring Love: Transfer Student Services That Promote Mental Health and Wellness
Celina Benavides, assistant professor - California State University Los Angeles
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Planning and implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention program on campus
Jessalyn Klein, psychologist and suicide prevention coordinator at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services - University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Student Affairs and Wellness Collaboration to Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing
Laura Horne, director of programs - Active Minds
12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Conference Break
12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Plenary Speaker: Melba Vasquez
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
ARISE: Building a Collaborative and Inclusive Trauma Focused Mental Health Program
Elise Latino, staff psychologist and ARISE coordinator - University of Cincinnati
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
What if it’s a Student Employee? Collaboratively addressing student leader mental health concerns across campus.
Jacqui Tisdale, assistant director, outreach and intervention - University of Rhode Island
Sleep Deprivation Epidemic: Implications for Retention, Mental Health, Academic and Athletic Success
Birdie Cunningham, associate director of health and wellness center and programming director, Center for College Sleep - University of St. Thomas
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Delivering Innovative Mental Health-focused Peer Education Programs: Successes, Challenges, and Lessons Learned
Marian Trattner, bystander intervention specialist - The University of Texas at Austin
4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Responding to Tragedy: A University's Grassroots Response to Mental Health Crises
Jayci Bash, honors program director - Southern Utah University
Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Student Affairs Staff
Erik Sorensen, assistant director - Miami University
The Equity in Mental Health Framework: Addressing Student of Color Wellbeing
David Rivera, associate professor of counselor education - Queens College - City University of New York

Sat, Jan 20

7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hours (optional)
8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Conference Closing and Plenary Speaker
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Changing Minds, Changing Lives: Fostering Resilience Among Diverse and At-Risk Student Populations
Jim Helling, clinical director, athletic counseling office - University of Massachusetts - Amherst
The Integration of the CMU Counselor-in-Residence Program into the CARE Process
Andrea Lobert, Central Michigan University
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
Increasing Outreach and Diversity through a Community College Mental Health Peer Educator Program
Esther Levy, student psychological counselor - Bronx Community College - CUNY
UChicago's Innovative Initiative to Address Student Mental Health on Campus
Julie Edwards, director, health promotion and wellness - The University of Chicago

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

Pre-conference workshops for the 2018 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.

Zero Suicide: Strategic Planning, Implementation, & Assessment for College Campuses

Thursday, January 18th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

This pre-conference workshop will detail the establishment of a zero suicide initiative on one college campus and exploration of establishing a zero suicide initiative at another college campus. This workshop will review the foundations of the international zero suicide initiative and adaptation and implantation on a college campus. Participants will engage in strategic planning for their institutions, engaging cross-campus collaborations, and developing initial assessment metrics. Participants will also be provided with sample templates for planning and assessment.


Registration is currently closed. Due to overwhelming interest in the conference, we have closed registration and begun a wait list. You can register for the wait list through the regular registration process below by clicking "Register Online." Names on the wait list will be held in the event of any cancellations. You will be contacted no later than December 27 with an update to your wait list status.

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.

Register Online

Registration Fees

Early Bird Registration
07/01/2017 to 11/01/2017
Regular Registration
11/02/2017 to 12/15/2017
Late Registration
after 12/15/2017
NASPA Member
NASPA Student Member
Pre-Conference Workshops


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 3, 2017, less a $50.00 processing fee. In addition, a processing fee of $50.00 per registration will be charged for credit cards declined.

Cancellation:  The cancellation deadline to receive a refund is November 3, 2017, less a $50.00 administrative fee.  No refunds will be given after the deadline for any reason.  All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing and sent to refund@naspa.org. This program may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, 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 or travel related problems and will not reimburse registration fees for these issues.

Substitutions: Substitutions are allowed by individuals within the same institution/company. Substitutions should have the same member classification so that the payment is an even exchange transfer of payment. Additional charges may apply if the membership status is not the same. Please email your request for the substitute attendee to refund@naspa.org.

Purchase Orders: NASPA does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment. For registrants requiring an invoice to have a check payment processed, please use the Bill Me payment method to complete your registration. The resulting invoice can be found and downloaded under the My NASPA section of the website (must be logged-in), by selecting theView Invoices link from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, email a request to Membership to have a PDF of your invoice sent to you. Bill Me registrations are considered complete and will hold your place in an event, however the balance due must be settled prior to attending.

Click here to view NASPA’s complete Payment Policies and Procedures.

Additional Questions? Please contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail to events@naspa.org.


If you would like to exhibit or sponsor at the 2018 Strategies Conference, please fill out the exhibitor application form and fax or email the completed application to 202-204-8443 or e-mail kjerde@naspa.org by December 8, 2017. Questions? Contact Kristie Jacobsen Jerde by phone at 218-280-7578 or via email at kjerde@naspa.org.

Gold Level
Silver Level
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Bronze Level
  • Healthy Minds Group
  • Pacifica Labs
  • Say it with a Condom
Special Thanks To…


Hilton Portland

Hilton Portland
Portland, OR

All conference activities will take place at the Hilton Portland.

The Hilton Portland is currently sold out of rooms. 

NASPA has secured an overflow block at the Courtyard Portland City Center which is 0.3 miles or approximately a 7 minute walk from the Hilton Portland.

All reservations must be made by Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Please make your reservations as soon as possible, as hotel blocks tend to sell out for NASPA events. 


Hotel Room Rate/Night
Courtard Portland City Center
550 SW Oak Street, Portland, OR 97204
$169 - Single/Double
$169 - Triple/Quad
  • Travel

    Portland is serviced by Portland International Airport (PDX). The Hilton Portland is approximately 10 miles from the airport.

  • Transportation

    For more information about taxi service, please visit the Ground Transportation page of the PDX website. The estimated taxi fare is $35 one way.

    Rental Cars
    For more information about rental cars, including available companies and contact information, please visit the Ground Transportation page of the PDX website..

    Light Rail
    The MAX Light Rail runs every 15 minutes or better most of the day, every day. The fare is $2.50 for a 2 ½ hour ticket. Simply take the red line at the airport toward City Center & Beaverton and get off at Pioneer Square. The Hilton Portland is about a 2 minute walk from Pioneer Square. For more information regarding the MAX Light Rail, please visit the MAX Red Line page of the MAX Light Rail website.

  • Weather

    Temperatures in Portland in January are in the high-40s F during the day and mid-30s F in the evening. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.

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