Diverse, Gifted &
At Risk


Exploring how students, faculty, and administrators can contribute to the mental health and academic success of students on their campus.


Optimizing the mental health and well-being of its students will assist CUNY to realize its historic mission of improving life chances and success for young people in New York City. 

The Steve Fund, an organization dedicated to the mental, social, and emotional health of students of color, is partnering with CUNY, using principles of design, to support the improvement of mental health and academic equity throughout CUNY, the largest urban university system in the United States. Several intersectional challenges and disparities in students’ lives in areas including housing, food security chronic disease and disability, sexual and reproductive health, immigrant status, access to health care and parenting have the potential to undermine student mental health, emotional wellness, and academic progress. Building on recent Healthy CUNY initiatives to engage students, faculty and staff in promoting mental health and the Steve Fund’s history of organizing convenings on equity in student mental health in diverse campus environments, this conference will provide an opportunity for teams of students, faculty and administrators from each of CUNY’s 25 campuses to explore campus mental health more deeply. 

Participants will discuss the impact of student characteristics, life circumstances and campus cultures on the mental health of their students. The ultimate goal of this meeting and its follow up is to formulate solutions to overcome the barriers, activate the facilitators, and create the conditions for mental health, emotional well-being, and academic success for all students.

SAVE THE DATE—11/15/19

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion the conference, attendees will be able to:

Discuss the societal context and social determinants most significant to the mental health and academic well-being of CUNY’s large and diverse student body.

Specify barriers and facilitators to mental health and academic well-being associated with a wide range of student intersectional identities and circumstances, including family income, age, race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and nativity.

Identify the levers, strategies, and solutions associated with social determinants that can improve the mental health and academic well-being of CUNY students.

List the roles that students, faculty and administrators can play in achieving the goal of mental health and academic well-being for all CUNY students.

Describe the basic steps of the design process as it relates to making change in support of improving student mental health.

Identify specific ways students, faculty and administrators can contribute to improving mental health and academic success on their campus.