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WPI Wellness Days and Kognito

DEPARTMENT(S): 
August 22, 2022

This message was sent to the WPI community.

TLDR:

  • WPI has developed a comprehensive Mental Health Education Plan, outlined in this message. 
  • Wellness Days are scheduled for the academic year—activities are being planned now.
  • All employees and students are to complete Kognito, a 50-minute online conversation simulation, by October 15, 2022. 
  • Those who would like to deepen their learning about mental health and suicide prevention can sign up for additional programs, including in-person opportunities.

 

Dear WPI Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We’re writing to update you on Wellness Days and comprehensive educational programming to help every member of our community develop the lifelong skills to support mental health and well-being. These programs have been developed from recommendations that emerged from the Mental Health and Well-Being Task Force—recommendations built on the open and thoughtful feedback you gave last year as we explored the stressors affecting our campus—and are supported by the Center for Well-Being (CWB), Talent & Inclusion, the Mental Health Implementation Team (MHIT), and university leadership.

Wellness Days

Wellness Days have been built into the AY 22-23 calendar as days to reflect, relax, reconnect, and reenergize as individuals and as a campus community. 

  • September 23, 2022: Wellness and Community Day
  • November 7, 2022: Wellness and Community Day
  • December 13, 2022: Wellness and Rest Day
  • February 1, 2023: Wellness and Community Day
  • February 24, 2023: Wellness and Rest Day
  • March 28, 2023: Wellness and Community Day

Coordinated by the Center for Well-Being, Wellness and Community Days will have a community focus and have more programming to allow the community to come together, while Wellness and Rest Days will have a rest focus and be more passively programmed to allow individuals to rest or socialize as they see fit. These are days for listening to and connecting with each other: There will be no classes, no assignment due dates, no non-critical lab work, and no meetings held on these days.

The Wellness Days webpage has details, including how to propose an activity. The deadline for proposing an activity is August 31.

Mental Health Education 

WPI has developed a comprehensive mental health education plan to provide all members of the community with a fundamental level of mental health and suicide prevention education. There are also opportunities for more intensive learning for individuals, departments, or student groups who are interested.  

To start, WPI has partnered with Kognito to deploy an online conversation simulation to help everyone learn to notice signs of distress, use techniques to discuss concerns, and connect to appropriate resources. Employees will have access to the At Risk for Faculty & Staff module while students will have access to the At Risk for Students module. 

This simulation takes 50 minutes and does not need to be completed in one session. All students, faculty, and staff are to complete the simulation by October 15, 2022. Details about Kognito and log-in directions are on the Be Well Together Programs and Training webpage. 

Further Learning

WPI’s Student Development and Counseling Center, in collaboration with the CWB, also offers other programs, including Recognizing and Responding to Student Distress (RRSD) sessions; Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR); and the Student Support Network (SSN). All of these provide more in-depth skills related to supporting students, recognizing signs of distress and suicide ideation, and connecting to help. Please watch for additional opportunities. 

We thank you for your attention to this important matter!

Regards, 

Paula Fitzpatrick
Director, Center for Well-Being