If you discuss it, they will come.
That was certainly the case today during my presentation at the 2013 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Mental Health conference. Though my workshop was one of the last workshops of the day, it drew a crowd of student affairs professionals, university mental health professionals, and disability services professionals. Many in the room admitted that discussions regarding the soci-cultural factors impacting the mental wellness of college students do not take forefront in their day to day services. As such, the forum today provided them the relatively unique opportunity to consider the experiences in a way that diagnostic labels, university policies, and administrative paperwork do not. Stronger collaborations between student affairs and academic affairs were a reoccurring theme during our discussions as was the need for faculty training. I most enjoyed the passion apparent in the like-minded, student-centered professionals that attended the workshop. There is still a lot of work to do on many college campuses but, based on what I saw today, I am hopeful.