Depression on College Campuses Conference 2021

Taking place on March 9-10, the virtual conference will highlight college student mental health in the context of current events. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice, college students are facing increased loneliness, anxiety, depression, and trauma. These stressors disproportionately affect black, indigenous, and students of color.

The 19th annual Depression on College Conference (DoCC) will look at the health, safety, and emotional needs of students and explore how colleges and universities are responding to the challenge. The conference aims to bring clinicians, researchers, academic advisors, students, and faculty together to share research and innovations. You can find the agenda here

This year’s virtual conference will feature keynote presentations, concurrent sessions, mini-workshops, a panel discussion, and poster and networking session. Speakers will touch on topics such as:

  • The Impact of COVID-19 on College Student Mental Health and Wellbeing: Data from the Healthy Minds Study and the ACHA National College Health Assessment III
  • Let’s Talk About Wellness: Race, Ethnicity, and Wellbeing at a Predominately White Institution
  • Equity in Mental Health: Support Strategies for Diverse Student Populations
  • How to Address Religion and Spirituality in Support of Student Wellbeing with Clients in a Non-Religious Institution
  • Addressing Mental Health and Wellbeing, and the Impacts of COVID-19 in Higher Education
  • Institutionalizing Vulnerability: Why Creating Psychological Safety is Critical to Inclusive Excellence
  • Shaping Black College Men's Mental Health with Social Media Tools: The YBMen Project
  • International Student Mental Health- Here and Abroad
  • Addressing Student Loneliness Through Research & Design

The opening keynote will focus on “The Mental Health and Well-Being of Students of Color: COVID and Beyond.” Presented by David Rivera, Ph.D., Carlota Ocampo, Ph.D., Farha Abbasi, M.D., and Chevaughn Wellington, this session will share recommendations for how higher education professionals can support students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequalities. The session will highlight the Steve Fund’s Crisis Response Task Force recommendations, the importance of acknowledging racial injustice movements, and campus responses to the needs of students during this time. 

Tabbye Chavous, Ph.D., Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), will be presenting the closing keynote on “Campus Climate as a Mental Health Equity Issue: Centering the Diverse Experiences of Students of Color.” Students of color are often tasked with handling discrimination, (actual or perceived) immigration status-related hostility, and marginalization based on multiple identities (race/ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual identity, etc.). Recognizing the role that campus contexts can play on students’ mental health, this session will encourage audience members to think about how we can create more effective spaces for the promotion of students’ health.

“Our sessions will cover issues surrounding the two most pressing pandemics of 2020 — racism and COVID-19 — and their impact on the mental health of college students,” said Stephanie Salazar, M.P.H., manager for outreach and education at the U-M Depression Center and conference lead. “We invite social workers, health education specialists, student advisors, and students themselves to attend the conference and learn tips for how to improve their campuses and gain a better understanding of the issues facing today’s diverse student population.”

Registration for students is free and $75 for non-students. You can register for the conference and find out more about this year’s DoCC here




Established in 2001, the Eisenberg Family Depression Center is the first of its kind devoted entirely to bringing depression into the mainstream of medical research, translational care, education, and public policy. The Center is at the forefront in changing the paradigm of how depression and bipolar illnesses are understood and treated. Learn more: