RESPOND: Partnering for Campus Mental Health

RESPOND is an 8-hour training on how to help individuals experiencing mental health distress or a mental health crisis, covering how to provide support, assess for risk, and refer for additional help.

As part of participation in RESPOND training, you will also be asked to voluntarily agree to participate in a campus-wide research study. This study is dedicated to improving the well-being of ISU students, by increasing faculty and staff’s knowledge and skill in responding to students who may be contemplating suicide. Within this study, the training dates offered to participants at point of registration will be randomly assigned. Attendees who agree to participate in the research study will also be asked to complete quick surveys regarding their awareness and beliefs about suicide before, during, and following RESPOND training. More details regarding this research study can be found by following the link listed above, and before registering to attend RESPOND training.

You will have the option to attend one of three possible training dates offered in May or July of Summer 2019. To register, please click on the following link:

RESPOND summer 2019 registration

Register soon! Spots are limited & will fill up fast!


If you wish to attend RESPOND training, but not participate in the associated research study, please contact to be placed on our waitlist for future trainings.


Mental health problems affect each of us. You can take action to RESPOND effectively.

About 1 in 5 of us will experience a diagnosable mental illness this year. All of us experience emotional pain or distress at times in our lives. Most of us want to help yet often feel uncertain about what to do or say. RESPOND will empower you to offer effective support and useful referrals to a student or colleague. The course provides a basic overview of symptoms often associated with mental health problems and offers an action plan to help you RESPOND effectively. The course will address campus policies such as FERPA, as well as mental health resources.

RESPOND is an 8-hour training offered through the Iowa State University Student Counseling Services, in partnership with ISU Wellbeing and Student Wellness.

Who should attend?

Any Iowa State University faculty, staff, or administrators who wish to learn more about how to RESPOND to students or colleagues who are in distress. (Graduate and undergraduate students who work in student-assistance roles have also attended these trainings.)

Sessions may also be requested for Iowa State University student groups and student leaders. Please fill out an Outreach Request Form if you wish to request a training for 20-40 participants. (Note: Groups of fewer than 20 will be combined with other groups to schedule a training.)

What is the cost?

In their commitment to campus wellness, ISU Wellbeing and Student Wellness have generously offered to cover the registration fees for employees and students, respectively, who complete the RESPOND training. At this time, there is no cost to individual students or to individual employees for this training.


Please direct questions to


Other "Mental Health Support and Refer" trainings

Student Counseling Services can also offer shorter trainings (2 or 3 hours) to the ISU community on responding to students in distress. To request one of these presentations, please complete an Outreach Request Form.

Mental Health First Aid certification--an 8-hour internationally taught course--is no longer offered through Student Counseling Service. For individuals interested in getting certified in Mental Health First Aid, please check the Mental Health First Aid website for local trainings, or contact Tim Denger. If you were previously certified in Mental Health First Aid and your certificate has expired, that organization offers a 90-minute online re-certification for a reasonable fee.

If you're unsure which type of training would meet your individual or group needs, please contact Erin Pederson.