An Update on Mental Health Efforts
This message was sent to the WPI Community February 14, 2023
I’m writing with an update regarding the WPI Mental Health Implementation Team (MHIT), the group convened last spring to enact a number of recommendations suggested by our community to better support the mental health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff.
First, I want to point to you to a report that highlights activities by MHIT and its subsections, which focused on nearly every aspect of living, learning, and working at WPI. This work has been nothing short of inspiring, particularly because it engaged so many dedicated, thoughtful people who care about WPI. Through MHIT, countless partners across campus—students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and others—worked collaboratively to enhance existing resources and implement new programs and practices to help all members of our community build important skills to support their own mental health and well-being.
Second, as wellness is further infused into our daily lives on campus, WPI is phasing out the Implementation Team: ongoing work will be integrated and operationalized—both formally and informally—within existing structures and departments across campus. (For examples, see the report’s appendix for a list of stories regarding the many offices, services, and programs that support well-being.)
An internal advisory board made up of students, faculty, staff, and others will be announced shortly, tasked with ensuring the university’s focus on wellness continues.
We sincerely thank the members of the Implementation Team for their dedication and engagement across these many months. I especially want to thank the Implementation Team leadership: SVP for Student Affairs Philip Clay and Director of Emergency Management Ron Bashista; and Dean of Wellness Charlie Morse, AVP of Strategic Initiatives Rachel LeBlanc, and Professor Steve Kmiotek, for their thoughtful guidance of the team and its subgroups. Their work—and the work of the original Mental Health and Well-Being Task Force, led by Jean King and Matt Barry—clearly demonstrates their care and devotion to WPI and its people.
I know I speak for all of these community members when I say that our hope is that every member of our community—student, faculty, staff, parent, and alumni—will continue to support holistic well-being by practicing self-care and supporting others as they build their own self-care skills as well.
Wole Soboyejo, Interim President