Mental Health Advisory Committee

SUNY Geneseo Mental Health Advisory Committee (2015-2022)

The SUNY Geneseo Mental Health Advisory Committee began as the Mental Health Task Force in 2015. This dedicated group of members of the SUNY Geneseo campus community (including faculty, staff, and students) emphasized a campus-wide approach to supporting student mental health. Information about the initiatives of the Mental Health Advisory Committee can be found below.

As of Summer 2022, the work of the Mental Health Advisory Committee has transitioned to meet evolving needs of the campus. As well-being, including mental health and well-being, remain high priorities for the campus, a new group, the SUNY Geneseo Wellbeing Collective, was established in Fall 2022.

To learn more, get involved in the SUNY Geneseo Wellbeing Collective, or share ideas, please email Laura Swanson at

Key Initiatives

Kognito Training

Kognito At-Risk offers online, interactive courses which utilize conversation simulations.  The courses are designed to help users learn how to approach at-risk students and make appropriate referrals to campus support services.

The data collected by the Mental Health Task Force provided the evidence to confirm the need to educate a wide audience of the Geneseo community to take an active role in identifying and referring community members who exhibit signs of mental health distress. Of Geneseo students who have completed the training, 94% think all members of the community should take the training.

Visit the Geneseo Kognito page to gain access to Kognito At-Risk.

SUNY Geneseo was selected to receive the 2020 Campus Leader in Mental Health Literacy Award due to our campus's participation with Kognito-At Risk.

Red Folder

This initiative involves providing all faculty and staff with a Red Folder. This folder is meant to serve as a quick reference guide, providing resources for working with students who may be struggling emotionally.  Each folder includes information on identifying indicators of distress, tips for talking to students, ways to contact available resources for referral, and a flowchart providing assistance with decision-making.

The Mental Health Task Force initially designed the Red Folder and distributed copies across campus in December 2016. A revised version, funded by the Healthy Campus and Community Coalition, was distributed in September 2018.

Visit the Red Folder page for more information.

Student and Faculty/Staff Surveys

As its initial undertaking in Fall 2015, the task force assessed views of mental health on campus. The task force designed two surveys, one for students and one for faculty/staff, to gather a variety of perspectives.

For the student survey, the focus was on campus climate, major stressors, identified resources, and barriers to seeking help.

For the faculty/staff survey, the focus was on knowledge, skills, and attitudes surrounding mental health support for students.

The data gathered from the surveys has provided the foundation for decision-making and areas of greatest importance.  The survey data was shared with the campus community at ASSESStivus in October 2016.

Download the ASSESStivus presentation:  Supporting Student Mental Health at Geneseo: A Review of Campus-Wide Surveys.

Jed Campus Program

SUNY Geneseo sought to be a part of the Jed Foundation's JED Campus program in January 2014. JED Campus guides colleges and universities through a comprehensive model for supporting their students' emotional health. This model works to strengthen mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention program and systems. Following an in-depth self-study, the Mental Health Task Force hosted a site visit on November 3rd, 2016.

During the visit, Dr. Nance Roy, Chief Clinical Officer for the Jed Foundation, and Dr. Louise Douce, External Contributor to the Jed Foundation, met with a diverse group of campus stakeholders. They guided the College through a review of campus policies, procedures, programs, and initiatives. The result of the visit was a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Mental Health provided by the JED Foundation.

The Mental Health Task Force has worked since 2016 to implement action items from this Strategic Plan. After five years of effort, members of the MHAC completed a post-assessment to mark progress and determine continued areas for growth. SUNY Geneseo transitioned into alumni status with the JED Campus program in Fall 2021.

Mental Health Town Halls

Inaugural Mental Health Town Hall

The Mental Health Task Force hosted SUNY Geneseo's inaugural Mental Health Town Hall on Thursday, March 1, 2018.  We sought to start the conversation about how we work together as a campus to promote mental health. 

Over 100 students and faculty/staff members attended; the event featured a panel discussion and an opportunity to pose questions during an open forum.  Our theme for the night was "Join the Conversation" and since then we've worked to continue that dialogue.  Panelists included:

  • Nydia Constantine '18, international relations, Healthguard
  • Harrison Moses '18, anthropology and biology, Pathways peer advocate
  • Leslie Tetteh '19, psychology, resident advisor for wellness
  • Rebecca Berger, staff psychologist
  • Robbie Routenberg, interim chief diversity officer
  • Monica Schneider, professor of psychology

Coverage of the 2018 event:

2nd Annual Mental Health Town Hall

We hosted another town hall event on Monday, March 11th, 2019. Our panelists included:

  • Dominique Brown '19, psychology, Pathways peer advocate, a previous member of the Geneseo equestrian team
  • Julia Deacon '20, psychology (pre-med) and dance studies minor, assistant residence director, Safe Zone facilitator, Orchesis Dance Club
  • Terence Rogers '20, business administration, men's basketball captain
  • Joe Cope, interim associate provost for Student Success and professor of history 
  • Taylor Gale, assistant director of Student Life for Housing Operations
  • Gabe Iturbides, assistant director of Access Opportunity Programs

Coverage of the 2019 event:

3rd Annual Mental Health Town Hall

Our 3rd Town Hall built upon the first two. Once again, we invited the entire Geneseo community to answer the question: "How do we work together as a campus to support mental health?"  On Monday, March 9th, attendees gathered and discussed concerns, questions, and hopes related to mental health culture and services.  Panelists for the 2020 Town Hall included:

  • Cathy Adams, Associate Professor of History
  • Laura Kowalski ‘20, math and physics
  • Jason Mahon, area coordinator for Onondaga and Niagara Halls
  • Stacey Robertson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Katrina Saylor ‘22, psychology
  • Awab Shawkat ‘21,  psychology major/history minor