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Dorm room

Managing Distress in the Dorms: Integrating Positive Mental Health Practices in Residential Life

Health, Safety, and Well-being Health, Safety, and Well-being Initiatives Mid-Level New Professional
August 12, 2019 Andrea Letamendi Amanda Finzi-Smith TaMisha Greathouse

Today's college students face challenges related to the increasing stressors of academic perfectionism, exposure to world-wide trauma, denser housing, and alienating campus climates. Administrators are seeking more collaborative and integrated solutions that can address the growing mental health needs of students, with a focus on a continuum-of-care approach to assure more healthy and positive student experiences.

This session outlines a well-coordinated model of mental health prevention, education, outreach and response that can integrate well with the philosophies and practices of Residential Life and Housing communities. 

Concepts of mental health also encompass well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, and the student’s recognition of the ability to realize both their intellectual and emotional potential. By leveraging resources, relationships, and existing cultures of belonging, UCLA’s Residential Life implemented a mental health model poised to give more direct involvement in areas such as crisis management, conflict resolution, social-emotional growth and distress tolerance.  

During this session, the presenters will outline the development and launching of large-scale initiatives of clinical, educative, and preventative focus – including a new campus suicide prevention model, revised policies related to crisis management and response, and a student resilience program - reflecting the new model and meeting a variety of needs. Finally, presenters will provide examples of the significant collaborative, programming and networking activities including partnerships and professional networks that enhance health and wellness, safety and resiliency so that students can achieve holistic success.

Learning Outcomes

By attending this session, participants will:

  • review the current gap between student mental health needs and the capacity of traditional mental health support models;
  • identify the strengths and benefits of integrating positive mental health practices in Residential Life and Housing communities; and
  • leave with tangible examples of creative and innovative activities that illustrate a transformative mental health model.
Members: $149 Others: $220
Course Length
60 minutes
Course Type
On Demand

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