5W Wednesday: Depression on College Campuses

What is the Depression on College Campuses Conference?
The 10th Annual Depression on College Campuses Conference (DoCC) is presented by the U-M Depression Center, in partnership with schools and colleges of the University of Michigan. The theme of this year’s conference, is “Depression on College Campuses: Integrating Prevention, Resilience, and Positive Mental Health,” and asks how campus mental health missions can be reframed to include prevention of depression through a focus on student strengths. The conference will review recent research and practical advances in understanding of depressive illnesses in young adults in order to provide conference attendees with best practices for prevention and intervention methods to address depressive illnesses among college students, knowledge of effective prevention and wellness maintenance strategies for college students, and outreach models to reach students with or at risk of developing a depressive illness.

Keynote presentations include “Love is Louder: Building Connectedness and Resiliency on College Campuses,” presented by Brittany Snow, Actress and Founder of Love is Louder and Courtney Knowles, Director, Love is Louder, The Jed Foundation. Conference sessions include (but are not limited to) topics related to the unique needs of service members and veterans on campus, students with bipolar disorder, and students in the arts; online courses that promote personal wellness, stigma and service utilization, and transforming residence halls into supportive communities; as well as promoting resilience and strengths, the specific needs of first-year students, and engaging parents to support student resilience. Click here to see the full conference agenda.
Why is this conference topic important?
Depressive illnesses amongst college students is an urgent public health problem, and emphasis must be placed on early detection, intervention, and prevention in order to prevent the progression, chronicity, recurrence, and burden of depression. The American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment, a nationwide survey of college students, found in 2009 that nearly 30% of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some time in the past year. Depression has serious implications for college students. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression can affect academic performance. Depressed college students are more likely to smoke than non-depressed college students. Although research has shown depressed students do not necessarily drink alcohol more heavily than non-depressed students, those with depression are more likely to get drunk and experience problems related to alcohol abuse. Students with depression may self-medicate with street drugs, and depression is a major risk factor for suicide.
*Information on depression in college students was taken from the National Institute for Mental Health.
Who should attend?
The conference is targeted to a broad audience including psychologists, physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, counselors, university leaders, administrators, faculty, resident advisors and other students, educational specialists, and parents. Conference registration is FREE for students from any campus. Registration fee for non-students is $130 before February 1, 2012 and $145 after February 1.
Click here for information about Continuing Education Credits available for variety of health professionals, including physicians, psychologists, social workers, certified counselors, and certified health education specialists.
Call for proposals. Proposals for scientific or artistic posters about a research study or model program at your university related to the conference theme, “Depression on College Campuses: Integrating Prevention, Resilience, and Positive Mental Health,” are welcome until February 3, 2012. For more information visit “Sharing Best Practices: Call for Proposals.”
Where is DoCC?
The conference will take place at the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School at 915 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI. (Map.)
When is the conference?
The Depression on College Campuses conference will be held on March 7-8, 2011. The conference agenda runs from 12:30pm to 6:15pm on Wednesday March 7 and from 8:30am to 4:00pm on Thursday March 8.
Questions about the conference?
Contact Trish Meyer, Depression Center Program Manager for Outreach & Education, at 734.763.7495 or meyerpa@umich.edu.

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