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PRISMH: The President's Initiative for Student Mental Health

The need to address and support student mental health is critically important in a time when mental health conditions among college students are at alarming levels and on the rise. PRISMH is part of MPact 2025, fulfilling our commitments to student success and community belonging while building upon campus and systemwide initiatives and efforts.
Learn more about MPact 2025

PRISMH Spotlight

A personalized well-being portal where students can find tips and tools for everything from mental and physical health to friendships and finding balance.

Download You@UMN


APLU Mental Health Summit
PRISMH is pleased to promote the first APLU Virtual Summit specifically addressing mental health. Hear leading voices across the United States discuss the state of student mental health from a variety of vantage points and perspectives.

View the recording


Paths to Resilience
The importance of mental health is front and center in our lives. Stigmas are vanishing, programs are expanding, and we’re becoming more creative in seeking our own wellness. The journey takes perseverance and resilience. 

Explore the stories

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PRISMH Task Force Progress

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Task Force Members


  • Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
    Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Development
    Morse-Alumni Distinguished University Teaching Professor
    College of Education and Human Development
  • Maggie Towle
    Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs 

Task Force members


  • Cari Michaels, Extension Professor, Extension Center for Family Development, Twin Cities
  • Houng Nguyen, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Twin Cities
  • Nadezhda Sotirova, Associate Professor, Morris
  • Lindsey Weiler, Associate Professor, Department of Family Social Science, Twin Cities
  • Marco Yzer, Professor, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Twin Cities


  • Jake Atencio - Undergraduate, Rochester
  • Samiat Ajibola, Undergraduate, Twin Cities
  • Claire Donovan, Graduate, Twin Cities
  • Sophie Magro, Graduate, Twin Cities
  • Roun Said, Graduate, Twin Cities
  • Kaitlyn Swinney, Graduate, Twin Cities


  • Veronica Gaidelis-Langer, Clinical Social Worker, Duluth
  • Kacey Gregerson, Senior Academic Advisor, Twin Cities
  • Vesna Hampel-Kozar, Director, Student Counseling Services, Twin Cities
  • Chiara Mesia Doig, Social Worker, Boynton Mental Health Clinic, Twin Cities


  • Beth Lingren Clark, Associate Vice Provost, Twin Cities
  • Savala DeVoge, Dean of Student Engagement, Crookston
  • Erin Keyes, Assistant Dean, Law School, Twin Cities
  • Paul Shepherd, Minnesota State, System Director for Student Development and Success

Staff to the Task Force

  • Megan Sweet, Assistant to the President, Office of the President
  • Heather McGinnis, Assistant to the Vice President and Dean of Students, Office for Student Affairs
  • Christie Wells, Internal Communications Director, University Relations

Subject Matter Experts

Administration Group

  • Lisa Erwin, Vice Chancellor of Student Life, Duluth
  • John Hoffman, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Crookston
  • Sandy Olson-Loy, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Morris
  • Calvin Phillips, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students,Twin Cities

Allyship and Early Detection Group

  • Leif Anderson, Undergraduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Christine Danner, Assistant Professor, Medical School,Twin Cities
  • Betsy Ferwerda, Assistant Librarian, Crookston
  • Sara Johnson, Assistant Dean for Student and Resident Affairs, School of Dentistry, Twin Cities
  • Fiyyaz Karim, Lecturer, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Twin Cities
  • Douglas Kennedy, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Twin Cities
  • Kely MacPhail, Academic Technologist, Center for Spirituality & Healing, Twin Cities
  • Jordanna Midthun, Graduate Student, Twin Cities 
  • Brittin Wagner, Researcher, School of Public Health, Twin Cities
  • Sue Wick, Professor Emerita, College of Biological Sciences, Twin Cities
  • Chenwei Yan, Undergraduate Student, Twin Cities

Prevention and Upstream Group

  • Ellen Adams, Assistant Professor, Medical School, Twin Cities
  • Hodan Hachi, Graduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Emma Hamlin, Undergraduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Sarah Hilger, Academic Advisor, College of Science and Engineering, Twin Cities
  • Lisa Lemler, RecWell Manager, Twin Cities
  • Jennifer McCleary, Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Service Professions, Duluth
  • John Romano, Emeritus Professor, College of Education and Human Development, Twin Cities
  • Maura Shramko, Researcher, College of Education and Human Development, Twin Cities
  • Vince Vallera, Assistant Professor, Medical School, Twin Cities

Research Group

  • Clayton Cook, Professor, College of Education and Human Development, Twin Cities
  • Heather Cornelius, Graduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Robert Dunbar, Associate Professor, Center for Learning Innovation, Rochester
  • Emily Jordan Jensen, Lecturer, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Twin Cities
  • Angie Mejia, Assistant Professor, Center for Learning Innovation, Rochester
  • Kaz Nelson, Assistant Professor, Medical School, Twin Cities 
  • Soumya Sen, Associate Professor, Carlson School of Management, Twin Cities
  • Deb Wingert, Education Program Specialist, Center for Educational Innovation, Twin Cities 

Services and Treatment Group

  • Safa Ali, Undergraduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Tammy Berberi, Associate Professor, Humanities Department, Morris
  • Stacy Crawford, Director of Academic Advising, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Duluth
  • Matt Hanson, Interim Director, Boynton Mental Health Clinic, Twin Cities
  • Michael Kim, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Medical School,Twin Cities 
  • Ayan Mohamed, Graduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Coralie Pederson, Certified Nurse Practitioner, Boynton Health, Twin Cities
  • Emily Schneider, Undergraduate Student, Crookston
  • Scott Slattery, Director of Learner Development, Medical School, Twin Cities 
  • Jasmine Snow, Undergraduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Marvin So, Professional Student, Twin Cities
  • Anna Stalsberg, Undergraduate Student, Twin Cities
  • Alexis Zanghi, Graduate Student, Twin Cities

Task Force Updates

9.2022 The task force workgroups are meeting to build implementation plans for the initiatives identified in  2021-2022. 

The task force endorsed the following resources to support student mental health:

  • Responding to Student Suicidality is a training developed for the Mental Health Advocates program, led by Student Counseling Services and Boynton Health, through a systemwide, interdisciplinary collaboration. This excellent course takes approximately 30-60 minutes to complete. It is designed to equip faculty and staff with the knowledge and skills to respond to and support a student experiencing suicidality. It also highlights the University’s mental health resources on each campus.

  • You@UMN is a free, personalized, well-being portal for students. It connects them to 1) online tools such as tips to manage anxiety and stress and 2) campus resources to promote their academic success and career preparedness, help them thrive physically and mentally, and build their sense of purpose and connection to our campuses.

  • Making Effective Referrals is a pilot video that is the first in a series to be developed during AY22-23 aimed at helping faculty and staff build their competence and confidence in supporting student mental health. 

1.2022 The task force established the following working groups for spring semester who will come together over the month of February to establish their work plans, and will report monthly at the March, April, and May PRISMH task force meetings. Task force meetings will provide opportunities for cross-fertilization with respect to communications strategy, faculty work, research, and service delivery.

  • Communications Work Group, Co-Chairs Soumya Sen & Savala DeVoge
  • Faculty Work Group, Co-Chairs Sue Wick & Erin Keyes
  • Research Work Group, Co-Chairs Roun Said and Kaitlyn Swinney
  • Service Delivery Work Group - tentative; Co-Chairs Sarah Hilger & Maggie Towle 

12.2021 Task force members and subject matter experts met monthly during fall semester with meetings focused on understanding resources across the UofM system including new initiatives. Topics covered included the following:

  • Environmental scan presentation by Vesna Hampel-Kozar and Matt Hanson
  • SERU data presented by Daniel Jones-White and Steven Hawks
  • Consultation on Provost Disability Task Force Recommendations regarding Accommodated Instruction with Tammy Berberi
  • You@UMN Presentation/Discussion with Lisa Stephenson and Jeanne Williamson 

08.2021The task force held a kick-off retreat, which grounded their work in public health models of mental health, led by task force members Lindsey Weiler and Cari Michaels, and PRISMH subject matter expert Clay Cook. These models will guide the work over the 2021-22 academic year.

View the presentation

Task Force Overview

The President’s Initiative for Student Mental Health (PRISMH), is a systemwide effort to bring together the services, programs, policies, and academic practices that showcase the University as a leader — not only in Minnesota, but in the nation — in understanding the ecosystem of mental health by using a public health approach grounded in data, practice, and research. 

PRISMH will centralize work already happening across the University and identify new areas of inquiry, research, and partnership. It will shine a light on the importance of mental health care in the broadest sense, work to de-stigmatize mental illness, and meet students where they are.

There will be several functional and topical focus areas for PRISMH over the next 1-3 years. Each will have specific objectives and results that will drive the work. The PRISMH leadership will make recommendations, determine milestones, and report progress regularly.

The focus areas will include:

Prevention/Upstream Efforts
Explore student training and prevention efforts happening across the system and make recommendations about the creation of an educational module. Additionally, explore and make a recommendation about K-12 partnerships to support mental health for elementary and secondary students.

Recommend structure, scope, and criteria to support student mental health research and curriculum.

Allyship and Early Detection
Assess opportunities for training faculty, staff, and students and make these opportunities more accessible systemwide. Partner with the Faculty Consultative Committee to understand classroom opportunities, such as course syllabi with a mental health-centered approach.

Services and Treatment
Make recommendations about how to mitigate service gaps and provide quality services that are culturally sensitive, technologically innovative,  and accessible. Explore non-clinical opportunities to triage and support students.

Develop and publish a comprehensive, systemwide student mental health campaign, provide updates to the University community, and serve as a liaison between University of Minnesota and community and non-profit partners.


MN State Summit 

In partnership with Minnesota State, the University of Minnesota hosted a statewide Mental Health Summit for higher education leaders and partners. The program schedule and speakers represented the depth and breadth of expertise across the state and were thoughtfully selected to share knowledge, foster discussion, and align priorities to support student mental health. View the robust conversation, the keynote address from Sara Abelson, MPH, and check out the resources offered by Carleton College, St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota Duluth, and University of Minnesota Morris:

College Student Mental Health: National Trends COVID-19 Impacts, and Opportunities for Action

Fostering student wellbeing and resilience: Practice, programs, and initiatives

Mental Health Panel Discussion 

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and the University of Minnesota co-presented a panel on  "Student Mental Health from the Lens of Prevention and Resilience." The panel featured experts and U of M faculty and students and was moderated by Stephanie Curtis, Senior Producer of The Thread, MPR. View the Recording.