Discomfort Zones: Atelier Santé Mentale – Juin 2018

Friday June 1st, 2018 – Parsons Paris

A panel of four mental health professionals have kindly agreed to provide feedback about the APUAF survey on student mental health issues and to share their experience and expertise.

Discomfort Zones : Facing Student Mental Health Issues Abroad

As program directors and staff who work closely with students abroad, the following are among our greatest concerns:

– Huge increase in number of students with Mental Health issues;

– Taboos and restrictions in the US regarding sharing of information;

– Non or partial disclosure by students themselves;

– Managing Mental Health crises on site;

– Program director as the « go to » person;

– Less infrastructure/fewer resources abroad vs. home campus.

The four members of this panel of mental health professionals have kindly agreed to provide feedback about the APUAF survey on student mental health issues and to share their experience and expertise, addressing among other topics:

– Today’s « troubled student » (whether the student comes to therapy following an acute episode or suffers from an ongoing malaise, whether they are pre-diagnosed or not) ;

– Specific risks tied to certain conditions such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, trauma tied to sexual assault, gender related issues, schizophrenia/psychosis, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.

– How we might better communicate with our students to encourage them to take care of themselves/to use resources/ to establish dialogue with us as program directors/staff ;

– How we can lessen the stress of student mental health crisis management in our professional and/or personal lives.

Résultats du sondage

Panel interventions

David Frese holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and practices as a psychotherapist and counseling psychologist. His training is in Family Therapy and Couples Therapy, and he also works with adolescents and individual adults. He is currently school psychologist for Paris College of Art and CUPA.

Louis Monaco received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Louis has developed specialist skills in short-and long-term individual psychological therapy as well as marital and relationship psychotherapy. For the past 2 years, Louis has been one of the two off-campus therapists for the American University of Paris, and has provided mental health services for students of the university.

Patricia Ochs has a Master’s degree in psychotherapy and counseling and two years’ training in focusing oriented psychotherapy. She is an accredited mediator. Among her clients are university students, who she sees for a full range of issues including anxiety and depression.

Virginia Picchi holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and completed post-doctoral psychoanalytic training. She has been working with American students abroad in her private practice for the past 20 years. In 2014, she founded Psychological Services at Reid Hall, a centralized service with 3 psychologists and one psychiatrist providing mental health services to 7 different study abroad programs.

Powerpoint de la présentation par le panel

Report on Forum workshop on Mental Health, Stockholm

(Monique Fecteau, Wellesley in Aix)



2 – Article du NY Times – His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn’t, Until It Was Too Late

3 – Forum on Education Abroad – Boston conference, March 2018, Session: Practical Risk Management: Dealing with Emotional & Mental Health Abroad, notes by Monique Fecteau

4 – Enregistrement audio de l’atelier