Mental health is a critical concern impacting college student well-being, learning, and success. Data from the 2019-2020 report from the Healthy Minds Study shows that 37% of college students surveyed report having had a mental health diagnosis, and 30% of college students having accessed mental health therapy or counseling in the last year.
Despite these numbers, stigma is still high: 47% of students agreed with the statement that "most people would think less of someone who has received mental health treatment”. Institutions of higher education across the country report increased mental health issues on campus, as well as increased severity of concerns, emphasizing the importance of effective, evidence-informed strategies that serve a diverse student population.
The NASPA Strategies Conferences convene efforts regarding collegiate alcohol and drug abuse prevention, mental health, sexual violence prevention and response, and well-being in a comprehensive conference experience.
Learn more about the 2021 NASPA Strategies Conferences, including exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities.
2021 Conference Themes and Learning Outcomes
Access to Services
- Explore new modalities addressing growing waiting lists and stagnant or reduced provider capacity
- Discuss administrative successes and barriers to expand student access
- Discover and compare solutions to promote increased access and awareness of mental health services for students
Cross- Campus Collaboration and Coordination
- Discuss models of collaboration, case studies from integrated systems, successful partnerships, and work with student affairs leadership
- Understand collaboration with local, state, and national organizations to promote mental health on campus
- 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 misuse on campus to develop and enhance prevention, intervention and response
Cultural and Identity Considerations
- Identify barriers to mental well-being for campus sub-populations, the strategies to address social justice and identity-related stress, providing inclusive services, and the recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse staff who provide mental health services
- Discuss both the strategic and the practical aspects of these considerations on mental health services and the creation of a mentally healthy campus environment
- Discuss mental health needs of students within a context of power and privilege
Current Trends and Emerging Issues
- Discover new or ongoing data and research surrounding college mental health, and what inferences that has for practitioners and administrators in providing services and planning for a mentally healthier campus
- Discuss issues at a clinical/individual level and a campus/environmental level
- Examine current trends and issues to better evaluate the scope of student mental health on campus
Successful and Innovative Solutions
- Describe specifically transitional student populations’ mental health (e.g. first-year students, veteran students, etc.)
- Engage in conversations about innovative and effective programming to support student mental health
- Discuss implemented strategies, programs, and policies which have been successful - or which are innovative, based on a foundational theory, model, or adaptation