Date of Publication


Project Team

Mary Val Palumbo, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC


Background: BIPOC university students face an elevated risk and prevalence of adverse mental health conditions. Despite this, these students underutilize campus mental health resources, a tendency that may be negatively influenced by bystanders' (i.e., student peers) lack of preparedness and confidence in mental health situations.

Purpose: The site of implementation indicated a lower utilization of the mental health services offered on campus by the BIPOC student population. Such underutilization may contribute to heightened instances of unreported and untreated mental health conditions within this demographic.

Method: The intervention consists of a 1-hour cultural-focused mental health first-aid bystander intervention program for a suburban university student population. Two workshops were held during the 2023 fall semester. The Gatekeeper Behavior Surveys (GBS) measured participants’ self-rated confidence, preparedness, and likelihood to act pre- and post-workshop. A chart review of BIPOC students utilizing student health services for mental health concerns in the fall semester was collected before and during the workshop implementation.

Results: University students (n=18) participated in the bystander intervention workshop. A 38% increase in the utilization of campus mental health resources by BIPOC students was reported during the fall semester when the workshop was implemented. An overall improvement was observed in the GBS survey by participants.

Conclusion/Implications for practice: The bystander intervention model/workshop, coupled with increased engagement from the university community, has the potential to positively influence the accessibility and utilization of mental health resources available on campus by BIPOC students.

Document Type


Available for download on Monday, April 27, 2026

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Nursing Commons