On October 22 and 23, 2019, the first edition of a multidisciplinary seminar, organized jointly by Florida International University (Faculty of Communication, Architecture + The Arts-CARTA), took place at the FIU (Florida International University) facilities in Miami. , the Toulouse Capitole University (Institut du Droit de l’Espace des Territoires, of the Culture et de la Communication -IDETCOM) and the Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès University (Laboratory of Pathological and Intercultural Clinics -LCPI). The theme selected was «Mental health on university campuses: current problems, contexts and challenges».
This first edition of work brought together a large number of American and European researchers, teachers and actors. A delegation of teachers-researchers from Toulouse composed of Nicolás Tilli (Toulouse Capitole University), David Vavassori and Sonia Harrati (Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès University) and Francis Quérol (dean of the Faculty of Administration and Communication of Toulouse Capitole University) had done The trip to Miami.
The originality of this research event was threefold:
-Launch of a triangular and multidisciplinary cooperation of the human and social sciences: this research federates teachers
-Researchers in communication sciences, in law and in psychology.
-A multicultural and trilingual cooperation in French, English and Spanish.
The seminar was open to the general public and was not only reserved for academic and institutional actors.
The objective of this seminar was to formalize the beginning of the work of an international dynamic of transatlantic collaboration (see “Consortium”) and identify the needs and strategies that allow addressing mental health problems on university campuses (comparative aspect), through of crossed perspectives: communication sciences, law and psychology.
The work during this seminar aimed to assess the general situation within each campus and, more specifically, to identify the institutional challenges to consider specific prevention, promotion and intervention actions.
The first day of the seminar included exchanges between academic and professional actors through plenaries, discussion panels and poster presentation sessions with the participation of students and doctoral students.
On the second day, the joint planning of specific actions and multidisciplinary research projects focused more on the exchange.
The topics discussed reflected the main questions raised by mental health on university campuses for students, as well as for university staff (teachers, researchers and administrative staff) and for the university as an “organization”.
Different levels of impact were identified (individual, family, social and community), several problems were identified (sleep problems, anxiety, eating, depression, substance use, etc.) and psycho-professional risks.
A variety of actions were proposed (promoting inclusion, strengthening access to health services, strengthening health prevention and promotion policies, reducing discrimination and stigmatization, strengthening the exercise of rights and freedoms, etc.) also aimed at improving the perceived quality of life of the people involved to help them reach their true potential.
The minutes of this first seminar will be published soon and will be disseminated among the participants and the general public.
It is this opportunity, the teams decided to extend their exchanges and their reflections during the second edition that will take the form of a Congress and will take place in Toulouse (France) in October 2020.
This second edition will involve the geographical expansion of the actors involved since the universities of Buenos Aires and Rosario in Argentina, as well as the University of Florence (Italy) and the Complutense of Madrid (Spain) will join the initial Consortium.