Latest updates

Important dates

Second Call: 17 May
Third Call: 31 May
Final Call: 15 June
Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 July (extended from 30 June and 12 July)
Early Bird Conference Registration: 31 July
Final Registrations: 16 August

We cannot accept registrations after 16 August, as we need to ensure that delegates receive their care packages
before the Conference.

Conference theme

Re-imagining & Responding to the 21st century student

The annual SAACDHE Conference provides the ideal platform to connect, engage, share and learn from one another. The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted our lives and work and we find ourselves operating in a whole new way. The COC reasons that it will be prudent to engage in topics related to the unprecedented times we find ourselves in. The changing environment has driven us to engage with our students in new ways, leading to creative and innovative responses from Counselling Centres across Southern Africa. With this in mind, we have chosen a theme that highlights various possible solutions to the challenges faced and opportunities to learn new ways of supporting our students.


Working Smarter Not Harder: Creative Ways of Responding to Student Needs

  • How did you respond to students during COVID-19 & lockdown?
  • How can we ensure that we reach the most students without risking burnout?
  • How did you creatively adapt the way you work?
  • How did you utilise technology and the internet to address the mental health needs of students?

Enhancing Student Resilience

  • What did you learn regarding student resilience?
  • What elements/characteristics were protective factors for students during COVID-19 and in general?
  • How can we enhance student resilience?
  • What positive psychology interventions could lead to more resilient students?

Media: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

  • What impact does media have on student mental health?
  • How does the increase in time spent online (social media etc) affect students?
  • What is the impact of technological anxieties on student functioning?
  • How can online or mobile mental health interventions promote student wellbeing?

Re-imagining the Role of Higher Education Counselling Centres

  • Have counselling centres started blurring the lines, and become like parents to students?
  • How can we re-imagine our roles and responsibilities towards students to have the most beneficial results – for both students and staff?
  • What impact did COVID-19 have on counselling centre staff & their mental wellbeing?
  • How can counselling centres focus more resources on primary prevention strategies?
  • How can counselling centres drive systemic/institution-wide preventative strategies?

Preparing the Student for a Rapidly Changing World

  • What characteristics are important to students to be able to respond to the changing world around them (such as COVID-19)?
  • How can counselling centres prepare students to be more adaptable to these changes?
  • What is the role of counselling centres in developing graduate attributes?
  • How do the development of graduate and general psychological attributes intersect?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution & Mental Health

  • What impact does the FIR have on the overall mental health of students?
  • What types of e-interventions promote student wellbeing?

Presentation guidelines

Conference presentations should demonstrate relevance in respect of the conference theme.
Presentations should fit into one of the following FOUR categories:

  1. Research papers
  2. Conceptual papers
  3. Training workshops
  4. Papers presented as posters

The following guidelines should be followed with respect to each type of presentation:

Research papers

  • These are formal presentations that are based on rigorous research that has been conducted and presented in accordance with recognised academic standards.
  • The quality of the research and presentation should be such that the paper qualifies for publication in a recognised journal.

Conceptual papers

  • These are less formal presentations, which may contain data from surveys and other research.
  • They are largely conceptual or descriptive in nature and are primarily intended to convey new insights, perspectives, experiences, and interventions.

Training workshop

These are facilitated activity-based group interactions primarily intended to demonstrate process issues and/or impart new skills or insights.

Papers presented as posters

There are poster presentations, which visually represent, in summary form, the methods, results, and findings of formal academic and related research.


  • Aim, method, results, conclusion.
  • Use a readable size print on your poster.
  • Indicate the title, author (s), and institution.

Instructions for abstract structure

First page layout

  • Title of the abstract
  • Type of presentation category
  • Presenting author(s) name
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • Organisation / University
  • Country
  • Indicate the theme to which the abstract belongs
  • Indicate the target audience of this presentation (career counsellors, etc.)

Second page layout

  • Centre the title in CAPITAL letters at the top of the page
  • Names of the authors and their affiliation below the title
  • Presenting author(s) name(s) underlined
  • Abstract

Abstract submission

Closing date: 30 June 2021

Specific guidelines for all presentation formats to follow soon.

Conference venue

The Conference will take place online. See the 2021 Conference Information Pack for more details.


Register here for the 2021 SAACDHE Conference.

Early Bird Conference Registration closing date: 31 July
Final Registrations closing date: 16 August

We cannot accept registrations after 16 August, as we need to ensure that delegates receive their care packages before the Conference.

SAACDHE members: R2450
NON-SAACDHE members: R2800
Intern psychologists/ students: R2200

10% discount for institutions that register more than 10 delegates.

Please note that you will only qualify for the membership fee if your annual fees are paid.

Conference enquiries

Please send your questions to