Bright Futures: Embracing Campus Wellness

Campuses are the site of a wide range of mental health challenges, from exam-related stress and roommate relationship issues to anorexia and depression. A characteristic of a healthy campus is students feeling safe and supported in talking about their concerns. This year’s theme, Bright Futures: Embracing Campus Wellness, looks at campus wellness as the product of a host of factors. Food security, physical well-being, discrimination and sexual violence are just some of the many issues a student may face.

This year’s conference will explore five themes:

Wellness and Health Promotion

Presentations in this stream will highlight innovative mental health programs that focus on early identification, prevention and health promotion. Examples might include integrated mental and physical wellness programs; peer supports and resilience-based programs.

Diversity and Inclusion

Institutional leadership and campus models for diversity and inclusion that simultaneously advance underserved students’ educational access and success and promote the flourishing of institutions have a significant impact on mental health. Presentations in this stream will address barriers based on discrimination and new opportunities related to demographic change, sharing practices and programs that pursue established ideals about equity.

Substance Use

Presentations in this stream will focus on the use of drugs, alcohol and other substances on campus. Example topics might include smoke-free campuses, as well as other critical issues such as binge drinking on campuses and driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Student Voice

In order to effectively address mental health issues for students, it is vital that student voices are brought to the table in meaningful, constructive, and sustainable ways. These presentations will focus on the student perspective, fostering understanding, opening lines of communication, and building access.

Mental Health Strategies

The creation of successful campus mental health strategies can occur only through informed policies, targeted mental health promotion, and integrated care for students struggling with mental health challenges. Presentations in this stream will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of campus mental health strategies.