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2018 Depression on College Campuses Conference:

Redesigning Structures, Spaces, and Processes to Promote Wellness
March 13-14, 2018 | U-M Rackham Graduate School Building, Ann Arbor


Proposals are now being accepted for the 16th annual University of Michigan Depression on College Campuses Conference, which will take place March 13-14, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You are invited to submit proposals for workshops, concurrent sessions, and poster displays relating to the conference theme of “Redesigning Structures, Spaces, and Processes to Promote Wellness."

The 2018 Depression on College Campuses Conference will explore how environmental strategies can be used as part of a comprehensive approach to create a campus culture and learning environment that supports mental health. We will examine how institutions can target the physical and social factors of a campus in order to create structures, spaces, and processes to reduce suicide and enhance wellness. 

To this end, we are looking for presentations on innovative design initiatives, model programs, policies, and research studies that demonstrate how redesigning the physical and social environments on a campus can reduce suicide and promote mental health. Telemedicine or other virtual strategies are appropriate.

In conference proposals, we encourage consideration of various and diverse student populations, including students from low socioeconomic backgrounds; students of color; and first-generation students, among others. Sessions that include students as presenters are also encouraged.

The submission deadline is September 9, 2017.

Submit Proposal

Each year the Depression on College Campuses Conference hosts attendees from over 50 colleges and universities from across the nation for a focused review of recent research and practical advances in our understanding of depressive illnesses in college students. A Conference Planning Committee, co-chaired by Drs. John F. Greden, Daniel Eisenberg, and Todd Sevig, and including members from across the University of Michigan campus, will review and select all workshop, concurrent session, and poster display proposals.

Conference Learning Objectives
Depression among college students is an urgent public health problem. If we are to prevent the progression, chronicity, recurrence, and burden of depression, we must emphasize earlier detection, intervention, and ultimately, prevention.
Learning objectives and expected results for the conference participants are an improved understanding of and ability to implement:

  • Research which demonstrates the impact that physical and social environmental cues, stimuli, structures, and processes can have on mental health;
  • Best practices for redesigning the built environment of campuses to reduce suicide and ways to alter students’ physical spaces to enhance wellness;
  • Processes to improve clinical transitions between hospitals, treatment centers, student health services, and campus housing in order to create better safety nets for students;
  • Best practices for creating social environments that foster awareness, reduction of stigma, and encouragement of help-seeking for students with mental health disorders.
The conference attracts a multi-disciplinary audience of professionals working on college campuses, including:

  • Academic Advisors
  • Counselors and Counseling Center Directors
  • Faculty
  • Health Educators
  • Parents
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Student Affairs administrators and staff
  • Students

Presentation Formats
Please review these descriptions to determine the format that best matches the content and scope of the material you would like to present. Proposals will be evaluated based on specific criteria, including relevancy to theme and expertise of presenters.

Workshop (3 hours)
A three-hour workshop provides an opportunity to explore a given topic on a deeper level, or from multiple perspectives. These workshops must be interactive, engaging the attendees in facilitated group discussion and/or skill-building exercises to improve their knowledge and understanding of the given topic. Workshops may have multiple presenters, including individuals from different institutions, in order to provide a range of perspectives and expertise.

Workshops will take place in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 13 (tentatively from 2:15-5:15 p.m.).

Mini-Workshop (90 Minutes)
Mini-workshops are 90-minute sessions, which give speakers and participants more time to delve into a given topic than is offered during a concurrent session, but are less intense than the three-hour workshops in terms of participant interaction and depth/breadth of content presented.

Mini-workshops will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday March 13 (tentatively between 2:15-5:15 p.m.).

Concurrent Session (75 minutes)
Concurrent sessions are 75-minute sessions that provide an opportunity to introduce a model program, evidence-based practice, or research study relating to the conference theme. The presentations should be no longer than 60 minutes, as 15 minutes MUST be left at the end of the session for Q & A and discussion with attendees.

Concurrent Sessions will take place in the morning (approximately 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) or afternoon (approximately 1:30-2:45 p.m.) on Wednesday, March 14.

Poster Session
You are invited to create a poster about a research study or model program at your university which relates to the conference theme, “Redesigning Campuses for Mental Health.” Each presenter will have an easel and 25" x 30" poster board for mounting their poster.

Posters will be presented during a networking forum and reception to be held from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.

If you are a currently enrolled student, and your project is selected for presentation and you are traveling from outside of Ann Arbor area, you will receive free hotel accommodations at the Hampton Inn South during the conference.

Proposal Submission Information
Please use this online form to submit a summary of your proposed workshop, concurrent session, or poster in 300 words or less. Your proposal summary must contain clearly defined learning objectives, an overview of the presentation content and format, intended audience, and a list of all speakers.

In addition, if you are proposing a workshop or concurrent session, please submit a separate brief description of your session (including session title) in 150 words or less. This description will be included in the conference program if your proposal is selected.

If you have more than one presenter, the lead presenter should submit the proposal on behalf of the entire group.

All selected speakers will receive free conference registration. Speakers are responsible for their airfare, hotel, and ground transportation expenses.

Please note that we will need copies of all handouts and slides three weeks in advance of the conference, to allow enough time to print copies for attendees who request a hard copy of the materials.

If you have any questions regarding proposal submission, or about the conference, contact Stephanie Salazar.

The deadline for proposal submission is September 4, 2017. Selected presenters will be notified by October 4, 2017.