Student mental health issues are a growing crisis within higher education and mishandled situations can lead to serious student and institutional consequences. International educators need to be informed, savvy, and most of all, prepared to identify and address the mental health challenges their students struggle with while on campus and when participating in education abroad programs. By implementing proactive measures, institutions can support vulnerable students and mitigate risk.
In this NAFSA e-Learning Seminar, experts will discuss how to develop a solid emergency mental health plan for international students in the United States and students engaged in education abroad. Each will address how to cultivate a network of allies and train staff on institutional procedures. Schools can then minimize legal liability and provide students with the support they need. The presenters will share real-world experiences and best practices for dealing with mental health issues that range from minor to critical.
After attending this NAFSA e-Learning Seminar, participants will be able to:
- Train staff on mental health issues to minimize personal and institutional liability;
- Develop a communication and action plan for mental health emergencies;
- Determine when an intervention is necessary and when to involve parents;
- Review their current mental health crisis plan to assess gaps and areas for improvement; and
- Identify campus allies and stakeholders.
The content will be relevant to those working in international student services; education abroad; recruitment and admissions; career services; alumni affairs; campus internationalization; and academic and student affairs.
Gary A. Robinson
Gary Robinson is director of counseling services at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, a position he has served in for the last 20 years. At Hartwick, Robinson assists students during study abroad experiences to negotiate the numerous challenges they face as they confront cultural environments different from their own. For more than 30 years, Robinson has dedicated himself to helping high school and college-aged students to maximize their potential and overcome barriers to learning and personal growth. His clinical specialties have included stress management; mood and anxiety disorders; and life coaching and mentoring. Robinson was a part of the first disaster mental-health team sent to New York City after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in social work. After completing his graduate work in counseling psychology at the State University of New York-Albany, Robinson was hired to work for the Semester at Sea program, mentoring students as they visited 11 countries around the world. He is the co-founder of P3 Mental Health Advisors, a consulting group that provides training and on-call mental health crisis management for study abroad, experiential learning, gap year, and other international programs.
North Carolina State University
Kim Priebe is the director of the study abroad in the Office of Global Engagement at North Carolina State University. Previously she served as senior associate director and manager of health and safety at the university for 6 years. Priebe has 15 years of higher education experience in the field of international education, with expertise in risk management and crisis response; program development and exchange program management; student advising; and staff mentorship. She has presented more than a dozen workshops and conference sessions on the topic of risk management and crisis response in study abroad, including most recently at the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference. Priebe currently serves as the NAFSA Region VII state representative for North Carolina, as well as on the University of North Carolina General Administration Task Force for Risk Management in Study Abroad. She has been an active volunteer with NAFSA, serving as an Education Abroad Connector Program mentor and résumé reviewer at NAFSA annual conferences.
Truckee Meadows Community College
Cheryl Woehr is a full-time faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College and is tenured in the college's Counseling Department. She has more than 30 years of experience working in higher education, having worked in the field of international education for 25 years. She holds a master's degree in psychology with an emphasis in counseling and a bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University-Chico. She specializes in cross-cultural and career counseling and has extensive training experience focusing on cultural diversity, American cultural values, and cross-cultural communication skills. Woehr has presented hundreds of workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally and has taught college courses at the university and community college level. She has traveled to 35 countries in five continents and lived overseas for eleven years in Spain, Libya, and Morocco, where she worked as a counselor at Al Akhawayn University for almost three years.
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Build Your Competencies
NAFSA International Education Professional Competencies 2.0 outline the abilities, skills, and foundational knowledge necessary for successful international educators. Learn more about NAFSA Competencies 2.0.
This learning content targets the competency categories of Risk Assessment and Crisis Management and Recruitment, Enrollment and Advising.