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13th Annual Depression on College Campuses Conference
March 11-12, 2015
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Call for Proposals

Proposals are now being accepted for the 13th Annual University of Michigan Depression on College Campuses Conference. You are invited to submit proposals for workshops, concurrent sessions, and poster displays relating to the 2015 theme of “Redefining the Culture of Stress.” (working title)

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 Dr. John F. Greden, Dr. Daniel Eisenberg, and Dr. Todd Sevig, and including members from across the University of Michigan campus, will review and select all workshop, concurrent session, and poster session proposals. Submission deadline is September 8, 2014.

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 and ability to implement:

  • Best practices for prevention and intervention methods to address stress, anxiety, depression and related illnesses among college students;
  • Research which demonstrates the impact of campus mental health programs and services which result in higher retention and graduation rates, stronger community engagement and connectedness, and the formation of positive social relationships;
  • Outreach models to reach students with depressive illnesses, or who are at risk of developing a depressive illness, in order to help these students to engage in treatment which will enhance their ability to manage stress and achieve success during their college career;
  • University policies and programs which aim to address the culture of extreme competitiveness and severe stress on many campuses, in order to improve student mental health and overall wellness.

Audience

The conference attracts a multi-disciplinary audience of professionals working on college campuses, including:

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

Presentation topics

The 2015 conference theme is “Depression on College Campuses: Redefining the Culture of Stress.”  (working title).

According to the spring 2012 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment undergraduate summary, more than half of college students reported above average or tremendous stress levels, and 30 percent of students said it had a negative impact on their academic performance. In addition, research indicates that students who suffer from severe stress may become depressed, and experience adverse physical health. While most university administrators would agree that too much stress is a bad thing, the campus culture which they cultivate often contributes to feelings of severe stress among students. Must student success always be equated with stress?

The 2015 Depression on College Campuses Conference will ask the question, “Is it is possible to simultaneously promote academic rigor and student wellness?” and explore how colleges and universities can redefine their campus climate by recognizing and counterbalancing the negative effects of stress in order to create a healthy academic culture.

To this end, we are looking for presentations on model programs, evidence-based practices, and research studies that demonstrate how a focus on improving student mental health by reducing stress on campus ­– and by helping students to cope more effectively with the inevitable bouts of stress that will occur – can improve overall student wellness and allow students to achieve their full potential. We are also looking for presentations related to how the academic environment and related programs might influence mental health (e.g., the impact of competitiveness and academic support on mental health).

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

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 (tentatively from 2:00-5:00) on Wednesday, March 11.

Concurrent Session

Concurrent sessions are 75-minute presentations that focus on 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 10:15-11:45) or afternoon (approximately 1:15-2:30) on Thursday, March 12.

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, “Depression on College Campuses: Redefining the Culture of Stress.” Each presenter will have an easel and 25x30 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 Wednesday, March 11.

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

Proposal Submission

Please 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.

Proposal submissions should be sent via e-mail to Trish Meyer, Manager for Outreach and Education, University of Michigan Depression Center: meyerpa@umich.edu

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 Trish Meyer at meyerpa@umich.edu

The deadline for proposal submission is September 8, 2014.

Selected presenters will be notified by October 3, 2014.