Student Mental Health Expert to Lead Education and Policy Organization Focused on Young Adult Behavioral Health and Wellbeing
The Mary Christie Foundation, a national thought leadership organization dedicated to the improved behavioral health and wellbeing of teens and young adults, has named Zoe Ragouzeos, Ph.D. as president. Ragouzeos, who is the Executive Director of Counseling and Wellness Services at New York University, will advise the Foundation on its educational programming, outreach initiatives, and research agenda.
“My work at NYU shows me every day how critical mental health and wellbeing are to a young person’s development and to their success throughout their lifetime,” said Ragouzeos.
“I am thrilled to be advising an organization that has done so much to examine these issues and bring the conversation about student mental health into important policy circles around the country.”
“As we continue to better understand and address the mental health issues our young people are facing today, we are so fortunate to have a practitioner of Dr. Ragouzeos’ experience and stature to help inform our work,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mary Christie Foundation.
As the Executive Director of the Counseling and Wellness Services at New York University, Dr. Ragouzeos oversees the mental health services as well as the sexual misconduct support services for the over 55,000 students. She was hired in the summer of 2004 to start the “Wellness Exchange,” a set of programs and services that respond to the varied wellness needs of students. At its core, the Wellness Exchange offers the NYU student community, a clinically-staffed hotline and chat service that offers counseling support over the telephone and text, as well as access to face-to-face emergency response services 24/7. The hotline receives tens of thousands of calls each year from students themselves but also from their friends, parents, faculty, staff, and others who care about their wellbeing. The NYU Wellness Exchange also recruits and trains other Student Affairs and University partners including Athletics, Public Safety, LGBTQIA+ Center, and faculty from all around the University, thereby building a “web of support” for students beyond the walls of the Student Health Center.
From 2004-2009, Dr. Ragouzeos created a significant Emergency Response Service at NYU, including a 62 hour per week drop-in service and the Crisis Response Counselor program modeled after NYC Mobile Crisis. These services significantly augmented the support being provided by the traditional Counseling Services already in place. In 2009, Dr. Ragouzeos united the two units creating the current “NYU Counseling and Wellness Services.” This service offers over 40,000 visits each year including short term counseling, group treatment, psychiatry services, workshops, and emergency interventions.
Given the vast global presence of NYU, Dr. Ragouzeos currently oversees a clinical team of full time NYU staff in 12 countries.
In 2014, Dr. Ragouzeos created the Center for Sexual Misconduct Support Services which seeks to coordinate wrap-around health, mental health, academic, housing, safety, and other support services to survivors of sexual misconduct.
Her pioneering work at NYU has made her a national spokesperson for mental health and wellness service innovation on college campuses. She has been a Board member of the Mary Christie Foundation since 2016.
About the Mary Christie Foundation
The Mary Christie Foundation is a thought leadership organization dedicated to the improved mental health and wellbeing of teens and young adults. Through research, convening, and publishing, the Foundation contributes to the examination and resolution of the myriad of issues facing teens and young adults today.