I recently attended the NASPA Mental Health Institute in San Diego, California from January 15-18, this conference brought together close to 700 attendees from across the U.S. The conference which has grown each year attracted the largest number of attendees. The program was organized to discuss strategies and interventions for addressing the increase in the number of student mental health issues on college campuses nationwide.
It is clear that the many higher education institutions are seeing an increase in the number of issues which are overburdening counseling and psychological services that are available. The conference addressed the following through a range of seminars, round tables and poster sessions:
- Scope of student mental health problems on campus;
- Overall framework for comprehensively addressing mental health;
- Specific strategies successfully implemented by individual campuses; and
- Knowledge and skills needed to create a campus environment that promotes student mental health
The program brought together a wonderful mix of counselors, alcohol educators, outreach education staff, residence life staff and other student affairs professionals. The informal discussions outside of the content sessions helped me understand the many challenges that college and universities face from multiple perspectives.
Submitted by Brian Salvaggio, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs