Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
Man in distress

Obermann Workgroup – Reconceptualizing the Mental Health Crisis in Higher Education: A Mindful Journey

In-Person Iowa City, Iowa
Higher Education

Event Details

This University of Iowa working group engages participants, across the campus and beyond, to explore trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and the philosophy of the health-promoting university (via the Okanagan Charter). These lenses are used to analyze the complex issues connected to well-being and mental health in higher education.

We aim to provide a cross-disciplinary space for faculty, graduate students, staff, and community members to explore culturally informed strategies and resources. These will be used to cultivate a culture of care, critical empathy, gratitude, and metacognitive awareness with the intent of addressing experiences such as impostor phenomenon, burnout, compassion fatigue, discrimination, grief and loss, and languishing.

All expertises and experiences are needed and valued. Participants do not have to be mental health experts. 

Our goals are to:

1. Discuss how to embed mental health and wellbeing awareness in various aspects of higher education

2. Examine cohesive frameworks of holistic well-being that support structural changes in academic culture

3. Reconceptualize the mental health crisis towards a positive psychology paradigm

To learn more about this group, please contact its co-directors, Anastasia Williams ( and Barry Schreier (

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