Mental Health Conference 2019 - brainstorming student support

Posted: August 9, 2019
A new conference at The Ohio State University is spotlighting mental health research and services to advance the Suicide and Mental Health Task Force initiative launched by President Michael Drake in 2018.

The Mental Health @ OSU Conference, running Aug. 22 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Blackwell Pfahl Hall, features faculty, staff and students discussing innovative strategies to combat suicide, depression and anxiety among at-risk students. The event is organized by the task force Faculty Network collaborative.  

Led by Ohio State Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Kevin Passino, the conference presents more than two dozen speakers, each representing different academic backgrounds, to address current student services for mental health care, research programs underway, advancements in IT support, related courses, plus strategies to advance staff involvement and training. 

Passino said the point of the event is to foster collaboration between psychologists, medical experts, social workers, engineers and beyond, in order to pave a path forward in prevention and recovery at the university. 

“It’s really about getting to know one another and what everyone is up to,” he said. 

Researchers will explain advancements in new programs, cognitive therapy, traumatic brain injury treatment and more. Conference discussions pinpoint new ways to understand and better serve students, identify key takeaways and outline goals for another possible conference. 

Drake first commissioned the Suicide and Mental Health Task Force in response to important dialogue on campus in 2018 about Ohio State’s suicide prevention efforts and mental health services. The goal was to welcome faculty, student and staff engagement in order to achieve a strong multi-lateral response.  

At Ohio State, surveys find anxiety has eclipsed depression as the No. 1 issue driving students to seek mental health services on campus. A Suicide and Mental Health Task Force report recommended a renewed “culture of care” on campus to minimize psychological harm to students and encourages students, faculty and staff to look out for one another. 


Contact: Kevin Passino at