Managing Distress in the Dorms: Integrating Positive Mental Health Practices in Residential Life

with Andrea Letamendi, Amanda Finzi-Smith, TaMisha Greathouse

August 12, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET

About This Course

Today's college students face challenges related to the increasing stressors of academic perfectionism, exposure to world-wide trauma, denser housing, and alienating campus climates. Administrators are seeking more collaborative and integrated solutions that can address the growing mental health needs of students, with a focus on a continuum-of-care approach to assure more healthy and positive student experiences.

This session outlines a well-coordinated model of mental health prevention, education, outreach and response that can integrate well with the philosophies and practices of Residential Life and Housing communities. 

Concepts of mental health also encompass well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, and the student’s recognition of the ability to realize both their intellectual and emotional potential. By leveraging resources, relationships, and existing cultures of belonging, UCLA’s Residential Life implemented a mental health model poised to give more direct involvement in areas such as crisis management, conflict resolution, social-emotional growth and distress tolerance.  

During this session, the presenters will outline the development and launching of large-scale initiatives of clinical, educative, and preventative focus – including a new campus suicide prevention model, revised policies related to crisis management and response, and a student resilience program - reflecting the new model and meeting a variety of needs. Finally, presenters will provide examples of the significant collaborative, programming and networking activities including partnerships and professional networks that enhance health and wellness, safety and resiliency so that students can achieve holistic success.

Learning Outcomes

By attending this session, participants will:

  • review the current gap between student mental health needs and the capacity of traditional mental health support models;
  • identify the strengths and benefits of integrating positive mental health practices in Residential Life and Housing communities; and
  • leave with tangible examples of creative and innovative activities that illustrate a transformative mental health model.


This session is $149 for NASPA members, $220 for non-members. Pricing will be accurately reflected in your cart.

Accessing the Presentation

Once you complete your registration, you will be able to access the course by clicking on the "Login" button at the top of this page (or any page on

  • You will be asked to login with your NASPA user name and password. Once you have done so, you will hit continue and be redirected to your dashboard in the Online Learning Community.

  • You will find the session listed under "Enrolled."

  • Live session access information will be listed before the session has aired.

  • All sessions are recorded. Once the session is over, the recording will be available approximately one week after the air date. You may view the materials as many times as you'd like, at whatever pace you would like.

  • If you have any difficulty accessing the materials, please contact Jace Kirschner (

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