Mental Health and Well-Being Update #5
Department(s):Be Well Together
Students, faculty and staff took time last Thursday—on WeConnect day—to watch movies, get hugs from moms, make crafts, meditate, play with dogs, sing heavy metal karaoke, play sports, eat some great food, and just spend time together. Thank you to everyone who took time to organize activities and participate!
- The Mental Health & Well-Being Task Force is phasing out and the Mental Health Implementation Team (MHIT) is mobilizing to put in place the recommendations developed by the Task Force and others. Learn more.
- The inaugural director of the WPI Center for Well-Being joined us Monday. Read about Paula Fitzpatrick.
- Riverside Trauma Center has completed its independent review of WPI’s mental health practices. Read the report.
- The WPI faculty voted to approve a policy allowing undergraduate and Mass Academy students to choose a Pass/NR grade instead of traditional letter grades for C and D Term, spring semester, and summer courses. Check your email for the February 18 message from Art Heinricher, Dean of Undergraduate Students.
- Check out the new #BeRealTogether webpage where students, faculty, and staff share their real-world experiences, insights, and quotes about how they effectively navigate their own mental health and wellness. Share your own insight or message of support here.
- Talent & Inclusion negotiated with our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to increase the number of counseling sessions available to employees and their families. More information about this change—which was a recommendation that emerged from the MHWB Task Force work—will be coming soon. In the meantime, learn more about the EAP here.
Finals Week Tips From Students
No one knows finals week better than students, so Academic Advising asked students for their top tips on managing finals week—from setting up a quiet study spot to taking breaks to being proud of yourself!
Community voices get real about mental health and well-being.
Community Voices Spotlight
“As a society, we frequently dismiss mental health needs and it hurts all of us. Your brain is part of your body and should be treated with just as much, or more, care.” —Zoe Reidinger, Associate Teaching Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Healthy Sleep and Daylight Savings
Daylight Savings Time begins March 13: we’ll spring forward and have one less hour of sleep. The transition can cause sleep deprivation because the darker mornings and lighter evenings can essentially “delay” your sleep-wake cycle, making you feel tired in the morning and alert in the evening. Here are some tips to prepare yourself:
- Practice good sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene refers to practices that can influence sleep and includes avoiding alcohol and heavy meals before bed.
- Establish a consistent sleep routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including the weekends.
- Spend time outdoors: Exposure to sunlight can alleviate feelings of tiredness during the day.
- Nap in moderation: If you’re feeling tired because of the time change, go ahead and take short naps during the day, but limit them to 20 minutes at a time.
- Don’t consume caffeine too close to bedtime: Caffeine consumed within six hours of bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Turn off your phone or laptop at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light from screens fools your brain into thinking it’s daytime and prevents your body from winding down for sleep.
Free Yoga Tuesdays
Did you know there’s free yoga every Tuesday at 5 pm in the Sports & Rec. Dance Studio? This 45-minute hatha yoga class focuses on connecting the mind, body, and spirit through an awareness of breath. Newcomers and those with any level of yoga experience are welcome. Yoga mats will be provided (or bring your own); wear comfortable clothes. Learn more and RSVP here.
Don’t forget that you’re important and loved: No number, letter grade, or test results can ever define you as a person. No matter what, you’re loved, and you play a huge role in our WPI community and on Earth.
To access previous version of this newsletter, click here.
This email is intended to be for informational purposes only and not to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you or someone you know is in imminent danger of suicidal action or other threat, call WPI Campus police at 508-831-5555 (or call 911 if off-campus) or present for emergency care at a nearby hospital.
Remember: we are all in this together.