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Understanding College Student Mental Health: The Psychological, Institutional and Legal Issues

December 6 and 7, 2007

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The mental health of college students, which has become the subject of nationwide discussion following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech last spring, will be examined at a conference at Hofstra University on Thursday, December 6, from 2 to 7:30 p.m. and Friday, December 7, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Virginia Tech tragedy resulted in a national debate about the very complicated psychological, institutional and legal issues that impact the rights and safety not only of students with mental health problems but also those with whom they interact and share their campus. Understanding College Student Mental Health, hosted by Hofstra University's Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center, will allow participants to further explain and debate these issues. This event is co-sponsored by Hofstra's Division of Student Affairs, Student Counseling Services and the Hofstra Cultural Center.

University and college counseling centers deal with mental health crises and related issues on a regular basis. Effective management of counseling services involves having mental health service providers understand and make informed decisions on treatment, hospitalization and recommendations for required intervention or academic withdrawal based on ethical guidelines, best practices and legal mandates. There are often competing interests at stake when diagnosing, treating and maintaining students in the university setting. Even the most knowledgeable mental health care provider can become uncertain as a result of these competing concerns.

Understanding College Student Mental Health will bring together renowned experts in psychology, law and ethics. Standards of care will be discussed to better guide mental health professionals and other university administrators in serving the needs of students.

Participants include:

Dr. Gerald Amada, author of Coping With the Disruptive College Student: A Practical Model; Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom: A Practical Model; and Mental Health and Student Conduct Issues on the College Campus: A Reading. He will deliver an address during the conference dinner on December 6 titled "Virginia Tech: What Have We Learned?"

Peter Earley, author of Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, will deliver an address on December 7 at 9 a.m. about the mental health system's problems.

Dr. Richard Kadison, director of the Counseling Center at Harvard University and co-author of College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It, will discuss "Mental Health Service Provisions on College Campuses" at 11:45 a.m. on December 7.

Gary Pavela, director of judicial programs at the University of Maryland-College Park, edits the national quarterly Synthesis: Law and Policy in Higher Education. He was identified by The New York Times as an "authority on academic ethics," and has been a consultant on legal issues and student conduct policies at many leading universities. He will deliver a lecture at a December 7 luncheon at 1 p.m. titled "Teaching Troubled and At-Risk Students."

There will also be panel discussions on topics such as: "Administrative Responses to Mental Health and Behavioral Difficulties in Students;" "Mental Health Issues Facing College Students;" and "Legal Issues and the Mental Health Treatment of College Students."

Registration fees for the conference are $200; $125 for senior citizens (must present copy of Medicare card); and $100 for matriculated non-Hofstra students (must present copy of current student ID) and secondary educators. Members of the Hofstra community may attend all conference events, with the exception of meals, for free.

For more information on Understanding College Student Mental Health, call the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center at +1-516-463-6535. For information on media coverage please call +1-516-463-6819 or 6818.

Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution offering more than 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, professors teach small classes averaging 23 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.

SOURCE Hofstra University
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