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Mental Health and Well-Being Update #2

DEPARTMENT(S): 
January 12, 2022

Be Well Together Update

This message was sent to WPI students.

Message Highlights:

  • After-hours telehealth line, online appointment scheduling, and new counseling staff in the SDCC
  • Mental Health and Well-Being Task Force (MHWB) update
  • Tips, resources, and info about mental health and well-being at WPI

Welcome to the second half of the academic year. On this first day of classes, we wanted to get in front of you with updates on new services and people here to support you.

Finding connection and support is necessary to help us grow together as a community. The resources and information here are part of a broader, integrated effort that depends on each one of us. Lean on one another, reach out and engage with one another, and ask those around you if they are OK and if there’s anything they need. Be each other's resources. We ARE WPI. By helping each other build strength and resilience, we will get through this — together.

You've Been Herd

Additional telehealth services: 
You asked for a new way to access after-hours mental health support. The new after-hours telehealth line, run by ProtoCall, will go live this week following final testing. You will be able to access the line during non-SDCC business hours by dialing the SDCC main number: 508-831-5540. When you call this number after hours (weekdays from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and on weekends), you will be able to speak with a crisis counselor through a choice available in the answering message menu. 

WPI has worked with ProtoCall to fully integrate our support systems and essentially adds an additional layer of support to our existing off-hours mental health support currently offered by WPI Campus Police and the SDCC. More information on the launch of this after-hours line will be communicated by the SDCC soon. 

Online appointment scheduling:
You asked for an easier and online way to schedule appointments. The SDCC appointment request form is now available and can be found here or on the SDCC webpage under "how to schedule an appointment" on the right-hand navigation menu. 

Added counselors on staff at SDCC: 
Three new full-time counselors are now available within the SDCC and working with students every day. We’ll publish profiles of these new counselors in the coming days.

Be Well Together Update

MHWB Task Force Snapshot

  • The Task Force met with President Leshin and members of her senior leadership team just before the holiday break to present findings and review recommendations related to student needs. A progress report on the student-related aspect of the Task Force will be shared with the WPI community within the next several days.
  • The Task Force continues to analyze data gathered about faculty and staff mental health and will develop recommendations at a retreat in early February—this will be the focus of subsequent reports in late February.  

The Task Force is working to further engage underrepresented groups on campus to ensure that the well-being recommendations serve all.

 

Be Kind To Yourself - Be Well Together

 

Be Kind to Yourself / Helping You Find Balance
Connecting with others and forming good relationships—with family, friends, and the wider community—are important for mental well-being. That’s why we’re sharing ways of connecting you with others in the WPI community.

Consider WinterSession
A great way to make new friends and connect with others in this new year is to join WinterSession—it's  full of workshops to spark new interests! WinterSession gives the WPI community an outlet to explore new topics, develop (or perfect) their skills, and foster new connections. Workshops will be held virtually, or in the Innovation Studio classrooms on January 22 and 23. Explore more and register here

Be Kind To Your Mind - Be Well Together

Many of us will be starting the new term/semester remotely, but we can still kick things off successfully. Some ideas to help:

  1. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals: make a list of all the things you want to achieve this term. Start with what you want to achieve today and go from there.
  2. Schedule specific times each day for things besides class: studying, exercising, eating, meeting friends (in-person or virtually), and having fun.
  3. Gather a virtual or in-person study group for your new classes—so you can socialize and study at the same time. 

Be Kind To Your Body - Be Well Together

Set an intention (not a resolution!) for this new year—something proactive and positive: an aim or purpose, something you plan to do or achieve. (It’s not a self-imposed rule you have to worry about possibly breaking.)

Physical health and mental health are inextricably connected, so why not set an intention to help both?  An intention to improve your physical health (like those below) helps you build healthy habits you enjoy, creating a positive feedback loop that gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to stick with it. 

Intentions can be both large (lifelong) and small (for a day or even an hour), but they should be specific and attainable, similar to SMART goals.

SMART goals.

Some examples: 

  • I intend to take the stairs and not the elevator today
  • I intend to eat a healthy breakfast today
  • I intend to go to the gym at least three times this week
  • I intend to drink enough water today
  • I intend to stretch well before going to bed each day this month

By setting a strong intention that resonates with you, you can focus more deeply on what you want to achieve today, this week, this year, and across your lifetime. 

 

#BeRealTogether

 

Photo of student, Nicolo (Nick) Miragliotta ’23

Nicolo (Nick) Miragliotta ’23: “I have found that the best mental health support for me is being a part of tight-knit student groups. Some of the people that support me the most I’ve met through clubs and organizations; they are great to lean on since they can empathize with what I’m going through.”

Do you have any insight or advice about supporting mental health? Share it with the WPI community here.

To access previous editions of the You’ve Been Herd MHWB newsletter, click here.

 

Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Be Well Together   |   SDCC
National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Student Health Services   |   I'm concerned about a student form