CAPS senior director appointed to National Academies committee on mental health

Andrew Finley
September 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Benjamin Locke, senior director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Penn State, has been appointed to serve on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee focused on addressing issues of mental health, substance abuse, and well-being among students in higher education. The committee will focus on developing guidance for legislators and policymakers about how best to respond to these concerns.

"I’m thrilled to be offered the opportunity to join this National Academies committee and represent Penn State and counseling centers nationally," Locke said. "I look forward to working with the team to develop the best possible guidance for institutions of higher education as they seek to holistically support our students in their academic and personal goals."

After serving as the assistant director at CAPS from 2003 to 2011 and an associate director from 2011 to 2016, Locke was named senior director of CAPS in 2016. In addition to his role with CAPS, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, Locke is the founder of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) at Penn State and has served as its executive director since 2004. The CCMH gives a voice to students and their mental health providers through high-quality data, which is utilized to drive research, develop clinical tools and inform policy. 

Participating as a National Academies committee member will allow Locke to represent counseling centers on a national level and inform the future understanding of mental health among college students — specifically through federal research and eventually legislation.

Locke said that he is looking forward to being part of the discussion about mental health in higher education within this committee as it continues to strive to make higher education a more courteous and responsible proponent of mental health.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are a collection of nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. Their work helps to shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering and medicine.


Last Updated September 23, 2020