Dr. Chris Brownson, a licensed psychologist, is the Associate Vice President for Health and Well-being in the Division of Student Affairs, Clinical Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology's Counseling Psychology Program, and former Director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center at The University of Texas at Austin. His portfolio includes University Health Services, the Counseling and Mental Health Center, Recreational Sports, the Longhorn Wellness Center, the Center for Students in Recovery, and SHIFT. Brownson was appointed as a Chancellor's Health Fellow at the University of Texas System in 2014, and he has led projects totaling more than $28 million implementing numerous mental health, student safety, well-being, and alcohol and drug-related prevention, education, and intervention programs at the 14 academic and health institutions in the UT System.
In 2019, Brownson was appointed by the National Academies of Sciences to the Committee on Supporting the Whole Student: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Well-Being in Higher Education. He is the past president of the Texas University and College Counseling Center Director's Association and a past chair of the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance, the Section on College and University Counseling Centers of APA's division of Counseling Psychology, and the Mental Health Section of the American College Health Association (ACHA). He is a past member of the Board of Directors of ACHA. He co-developed the Integrated Health Program at UT, which provides mental health services in the university's primary care clinic, and during his tenure, with the hard work and ingenuity of his colleagues, oversaw the implementation of the Counselors in Academic Residence Program (CARE), the Diversity Counseling and Outreach Specialists (DCOS), Well-being in Learning Environments (WBLE), Thrive@UT Mobile App, and the Mental Health Assistance and Response Team (MHART). He has been a program evaluator for several SAMHSA/GLS suicide prevention grants, consults with colleges and universities on their counseling and health services, and was the National Mental Health Consultant to Teach for America from 2006-2016.
Brownson has been the director of the National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education since 2004. The research team that guides Research Consortium projects is comprised of graduate students from UT, and together have conducted two large national studies on college student suicide, each involving 70 other institutions of higher education across the nation with over 26,000 research participants. Currently, Brownson and the Research Consortium team are leading a longitudinal study with 18 other institutions of higher education looking at the intersection of psychological well-being factors and academic success.