Student Health & Well-Being

Because MIT cares deeply about student well-being, Chancellor Barnhart wants you to know about the resources that can help when you’re struggling, as well as the new, innovative approaches to mental health and well-being happening across campus.

Resources

  • A comprhensive list of graduate and undergraduate student support resources can be found at resources.mit.edu/support.
  • MIT’s Student Support Services (S3) provides support and advice for undergraduates dealing with academic and personal concerns. S3 assists more than 5,500 students annually, and sees more than 60 percent of each undergraduate class before they graduate. They can also consult with faculty, administration, housing, financial services, and various Institute offices on your behalf.
  • Graduate Personal Support (GPS) provides advice and counsel to graduate students on faculty/student relationships, conflict negotiation, funding, academic progress, interpersonal concerns, student rights and responsibilities, and excused absences.
  • MIT Medical’s Mental Health and Counseling Service has over 20 full-time service providers, including psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, interns, and residents. Each year, these professionals help 20 percent of the student body with a variety of issues, including stress, isolation, academic pressure, insomnia, fatigue, alcohol and substance abuse, and the general problems of daily living.
  • Resources are available in your residence halls. Peer Ears and MedLinks are two examples of student-run programs in dormitories that can help you navigate life at MIT, connect you to mental health resources, and prescribe single doses of common over-the-counter medications or first aid supplies.
  • No matter what your graduate department, Resources for Easing Friction and Stress (REFS) can help. Both institute-wide (iREFS) and departmental (dREFS) programs for peer support provide accessible, confidential services in the form of support, coaching, listening, de-escalation, and informal mentoring and mediation.
  • MITGradLink, run by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, connects grad students with wellness resources and events.

One Community

  • Students, faculty, and others take part in the work of MIT’s chapter of Active Minds to eliminate any stigma tied to talking about and getting help for mental health issues.
  • The “Tell Me About Your Day” campaign (TMAYD), launched by undergraduate student Izzy Lloyd in response to painful student losses, underscores that we care about one another.
  • The Office of Admissions student bloggers talk openly about how they deal with academic and personal pressures and let other students know they’re not alone.
  • Together with the presidents of the UA and GSC, Chancellor Barnhart has encouraged students to get involved in promoting mental health and healthy behaviors. A complete list of student health organizations and specific projects was made available so that members of our community who need help or want to help know where to go.

What’s Next

  • The MindHandHeart Initiative Chancellor Barnhart and MIT Medical announced on September 2, 2015 is in its second year. MindHandHeart's goal is clear: over time, we want members of our community to feel more comfortable asking for help when they need it, and we want to build a healthier, stronger community. The main components of the initiative are:
    • Expanded access to mental health counseling and student support services through new staff at Mental Health and Counseling and S3 and lower barrier services such as "Let's Chat" drop-in consultations.
    • The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund to invest in innovative ideas and solutions developed on campus by MIT faculty and students.
    • The mental health awareness campaign, “Don’t Struggle Alone—It’s OK to Ask for Help”, also launched as part of MindHandHeart. Put up the postcard and posters, read about available resources, and watch videos of faculty and students talking about their personal experiences in asking for help.
  • To strengthen the student support network, Chancellor Barnhart and Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson combined Student Support Services (S3), Violence Prevention and Response (VPR), Student Disabilities Services (SDS), and Community Development and Substance Abuse (CDSA) into a new department serving students under the direction of David Randall.
  • The new Good Samaritan Amnesty Policy now offers protection from disciplinary action for students and student organizations that seek help during medical emergencies involving prohibited substances. This change is an expansion that responds to students concerns and is designed to increase help-seeking.
  • Responding to one of the key recommendations from last spring’s Committee on Academic Performance’s (CAP) report on undergraduate withdrawal and readmissions practices, Chancellor Barnhart and Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis have established a committee to review MIT’s medical leave and hospitalization practices and policies for undergraduate and graduate students.

Get Involved

To get involved in the Chancellor’s student health and well-being work, email AllThingsStudents@mit.edu.