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Promoting Student-Athlete Wellness and Substance Abuse Prevention

Genevieve Chandler, PhD, RN

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Genevieve Chandler, PhD, RN, and Jim Helling, MSW, LICSW are partners in an effort to refocus college mental health efforts on psychological wellness and resilience through evidence-based educational programs for multicultural student populations. Their philosophy is to reach students during the transition to college rather than waiting for stress, developmental challenge and the effects of early life adversity to overwhelm existing coping capacity and lead to less healthy forms of resilience, diminished function or emergence of symptoms. Beginning at their home campus, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, they have used Chandler’s ABCS model of resilience and her Changing Minds, Changing Lives course to teach skills and facilitate personal transformations among first-generation and students of color as well as other at-risk populations including women in STEM, African-American males, nursing students and intercollegiate athletes. Their work has been supported by an NCAA Innovations in Mental Health Research & Practice Grant and published in the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy.