Mental Health On University Compuses

Updated Call for papers (Closed since July 15, 2020)

(Updated: July 16, 2020)
The call for papers is closed since July 15, 2020!
We thank those who submitted their communication proposals on time.
They are now being evaluated by the Scientific Committee of the conference.

This page presents the NEW VERSION of the Call for papers as updated on May 25,2020, within the frame of the general reorientation of the colloquium within the frame of the COVID-19 related pandemic.
NB: the PREVIOUS VERSION of the Call for Papers (initial version, now OBSOLETE, is recalled on this link, only for future reference):


-> Download a PDF version of the Call for Papers (content of this page)

Reminder of key dates for submission of communications

  • Opening of the site for the submission of communication proposals: January 21, 2020.
  • Opening of registration: January 21, 2020.
  • Deadline for submission of communications proposals (summary): July 15, 2020.
  • Notification of acceptance of communications proposals (summary): August 15, 2020.
  • Deadline for delivery of full texts of communications: September 1, 2020.
  • Notification of acceptance of full communications texts: October 15, 2020.
  • Date of registration end: October 15, 2020.

Conditions for the submission of communications

For this conference, communications in either French, Spanish or English are authorized.

The colloquium will finally take place fully online, therefore no simultaneous translation is planned for speakers during the conference.

Communication proposals must be between 2,500 and 4,000 characters long (spaces not included, text outline and bibliography not included).

Communication proposals must also include the name (s) and email and postal addresses of their authors.

Full texts for publication must be a maximum length of 30,000 characters maximum (notes and spaces included).

The full texts will also be submitted for evaluation.

All communications accepted by the selection committee will be published in the conference proceedings, if the final text is approved.

Timeliness of the subject

Talking about mental health is not easy. Yet it should just be a health issue like any other.

Indeed, mental health affects different spheres: for example the individual, family, social, physical, economic, emotional, psychic… However, the reality is quite different and is characterized by taboo, suffering, misinformation, stigma, discrimination, fear, sidelining and isolation [i].

Today suffering people (real “invisible handicap”) have to face a “societal stigma” (external and artificial source of suffering) generated in particular by the negative aspect of the diagnosis (which accompanies and labels the individual throughout his life), and of psychological suffering, but also through the stigmatizing and discriminatory social representations towards mental suffering and towards the person concerned, which are added to the own suffering of the disorder (internal dismemberment of the subject) and impact on access to care. Socio-cultural variables further complicate the situation of suffering (environmental aspect) and access to institutional care services.

To this general situation, we can add a particular one, that of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This situation invites us to question the same concerns in terms of academic success, work and the inclusion of these people with special educational needs (users of public services: education and health).

One thing is certain: the current situation reflects the existence of individual, family and community issues of exclusion and isolation (symbolic, imaginary and real), self-stigma, social segregation, not respecting the rights of citizens. , creating inequalities, which have an impact on access to care and generate negative socio-economic and socio-health consequences.

This issue reflects a number of contemporary concerns and is to be found in the various political agendas of modern societies concerned with psychosocial risks. The latter, defined as risks to mental, physical and social health, are generated by the conditions of employment and the organizational and relational factors likely to interact with mental functioning.

(Update, May 2020)
In the new context of the pandemic, the Colloquium Organisation Committee has decided to broaden the scope of the conference, beyond the sole issue of discrimination, to cover the actual larger challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. See the new Call for Papers areas below.

Importance of the subject

At university, having good mental health is a resource for successful studies, working in good conditions and protecting a perception of well-being. Poor mental health directly influences the daily life of students and university staff (teaching and administrative), affecting their ability to study, work and have a satisfactory social life.

Today, the number of students and university staff with mental health needs and problems is increasing steadily. The stakes are commensurate with the suffering and troubles present in the university population. Universities face major challenges in understanding these issues in order to advance their care on university campuses [ii].

The major concern is that, without treatment (upstream and downstream), these situations can promote academic failure, allow the appearance of severe mental pathologies (depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, burn-out, suicide attempts, etc.) and be the source of risky behavior (consumption of alcohol and drugs or medication, etc.). Concerning university staff, the importance of taking psychosocial risks into account is of increasing concern to public policies …

Despite this observation, we identify either absences or serious difficulties linked to the implementation of information policies and strategies on the subject, communication, prevention, training, health promotion and health promotion actions. ‘social inclusion.

(Update, May 2020)
The sanitary, economic and social crisis related to COVID-19 has led to many upheavals and sudden societal changes. The academic sphere hasn’t been left untouched, and must also adapt to these news challenges. (See the Statement from the Colloquium Organisation Committee).

Pluridisciplinary approach

According to the Report of the Strategic Analysis Council on Mental Health, but also according to the WHO Global Action Plan for Mental Health 2013-2020, this thematic area requires its multifactorial, multidimensional and multisectoral genesis [iii] , a multidisciplinary approach in order to understand the complexity of this problem. The stakes are commensurate with the suffering and troubles present in the university population.

This thematic aims to establish a reflection around mental health strategies which can be useful for raising awareness, understanding and advancing policies and actions aimed at prevention, communication, promotion, information and the fight against discrimination and Stigma. In this context, this complex reality deserves reflection on several levels.

The triangular relationship between InfoCom, Psychology and Law will make it possible to understand the problems linked to: prevention-promotion of mental health, fight against isolation, public policies to reduce discrimination-stigmatization (of suffering and the suffering person), social inclusion, respect for rights and freedoms, prevention of psychosocial risks in the public service, access to higher education and successful completion of higher education.

Under this approach, Communication Sciences find its place through: communication for health, communication of organizations, engaging communication, health information, communication of change in organizations, the use of new communicative strategies, communication for social change and the study of representations and perceptions.

Besides the respect of fundamental rights and access to healthcare, the place of Law is explained by the fact that the difficulties encountered in exercising these rights quite simply harm mental health. On the one hand, mental suffering has an impact on the rights of university students and university administrative and teaching staff, and on the other, violations of their rights also threaten their health.

In fact, not being able to exercise a certain number of rights and not being able to maintain them when they are threatened (attending studies, maintaining a job, accommodation, a residence permit, food …) inevitably has repercussions on their health and their citizenship.

Psychology will help to understand the processes at work in the emergence, maintenance or recurrence of classical and contemporary forms of expression of mental suffering within the university. Psychology gives way to an understanding of the psychological processes and factors at play when the student or the staff of the university (administrative or teaching) is confronted with an evolution of their health and this in order to set up actions of inclusion and prevention and health promotion programs.

This multidisciplinary approach focused on the humanities and social sciences will encourage unprecedented exploration and the development of programs and campaigns (targeting students and university staff) for training, interventions, prevention, promotion, and sometimes multidisciplinary, individual communication. or collective, intersectoral or not, in order to maintain, restore or reinforce the perception of the quality of life of students and university staff, taking into account the cultural and intercultural vector.


[i] Romeo, R., McCrone, P., & Thornicroft, G. (2017). The Economic Impact of Mental Health Stigma. In Mental Health Economics (pp. 401-414); and Springer, Cham; Clement, S., Schauman, O., Graham, T., Maggioni, F., Evans-Lacko, S., Bezborodovs, N.,… & Thornicroft, G. (2015). What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. Psychological medicine, 45 (1), 11-27.

[ii] Michaels, P. J. & Corrigan, P. W. & Kanodia, N. & Buchholz, B. & Abelson, S. (2015). Mental Health Priorities: Stigma Elimination and Community Advocacy in College Settings. Journal of College Student Development 56 (8), 872-875 and Corrigan, PW, Kosyluk, KA, Markowitz, F., Brown, RL, Conlon, B., Rees, J.,… & Al-Khouja, M. ( 2016). Mental illness stigma and disclosure in college students. Journal of Mental Health, 25 (3), 224-230.


(Update, May 2020)
Today, in a pandemic context, new research questions have emerged, which question in a larger way the three fields of the Colloquium (Information and Communication Sciences, Law, Psychology): the use of digital technology (both for teaching and research), the role of university institutions in this crisis, the place and role of the rights and freedoms of public services, justice, the psychological suffering generated by confinement and the sudden and prolonged breakdown of social interactions, etc. This is why the Organisation Committee decided in May 2020 to redefine the themes of the call for proposals for the #SMCU2020 conference . They are now presented below.

New updated Areas for communications proposals

Multidisciplinary themes (information and communication sciences and / or law and / or psychology)

Mental health on university campuses facing contemporary challenges, from discrimination to Covid-19:

1- The challenge of new uses and practices (professional and / or social)
2- Civil and institutional actions, individual and collective
3- The role of universities

Specific themes

Communication sciences

Mental health on university campuses facing contemporary challenges, from discrimination to Covid-19: social representations; imaginary; discourse (identities and gender).


Mental health on university campuses facing contemporary challenges, from discrimination to Covid-19: the challenge for the law, Covid-19 as revealing and / or amplifying discrimination.


Mental health on university campuses facing contemporary challenges, from Covid-19 discrimination: confinement, suffering and trauma.