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MUS to Host Statewide Summit on Supporting College Student Mental Health

September 2, 2022

The Montana University System Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Task Force, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, and MSU Billings will hold a statewide summit on college student mental health and wellness from September 20-22, 2022, on the MSUB campus in Billings, MT.

MUS to Host Statewide Summit on Supporting College Student Mental Health

The “Enriching Community Mental Health and Wellbeing” summit will bring together mental health experts to advance system-wide strategies to support student mental health needs on campus with counselors, researchers, and specialists from across the state and the country to provide education, training, and best practices to a broad group of MUS and community stakeholders. 

Dr. Sasha Zhou, leading expert and Co-Principal Investigator of the nationally recognized Healthy Minds Study, will serve as the keynote speaker for the summit, which will also feature Dr. Annie Belcourt, Professor at the University of Montana, David Arnold, Vice President for Health and Wellness of NASPA, and Karl Rosston, State Suicide Prevention Coordinator. Speakers will address the state of student mental health and wellness on campus in Montana and nationally, state suicide prevention efforts, the challenges of mental and behavioral health workforce development in a rural state, incorporating mental health practices in the classroom, and more. 

The overarching goal of the summit is to frame college student mental health and wellness as a public health issue that has profound implications for the mission of higher education institutions and deeply impacts students’ pursuit of their educational and life goals. Through a set of diverse national and state speakers, the summit will be a robust statewide conversation about how to best develop and enhance partnerships, promote mental health literacy, and create common frameworks across institutions, communities, and the state to holistically support student mental health and wellbeing. To address this larger goal, the summit will focus on:

  • Increasing awareness and understanding of student mental health and risk factors for the diverse student bodies that the Montana University System serves;
  • Engaging in dialogue with students, faculty, administrators, regents, clinical providers, community partners, and others about the role these stakeholders play in continuing to enhance positive student wellbeing; 
  • Sharing information and strategies to support the unique mental health needs and access issues for underrepresented groups of students and enhancing frameworks for student mental health and wellbeing to support student success, retention, and graduation.

“Enriching Community Mental Health and Wellbeing” is free and open to students, faculty, administrators, mental health providers, wellness practitioners, and community members interested in promoting positive student mental health across the Montana University System. For more information and to register for the summit, please visit