Your Role in the MindHandHeart Initiative

September 09, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart and MIT Medical Director William Kettyle announced a series of immediate and long-term action steps to enhance MIT's mental health and well-being programs for students, including a campus-wide initiative called MindHandHeart.

In this message, I want to re-iterate how MIT staff members can play a role, and how your experience and understanding of our community will ensure these new measures are implemented effectively and have an impact. Specifically, please consider these ways of participating:

  • The "Don't struggle alone – it's okay to ask for help" public awareness campaign is designed to help students overcome the common but misplaced fear that they will be judged harshly for feeling overwhelmed and seeking help. In the next week, postcards promoting this message will be sent to each DLC area. I hope you will pick them up and display them in your offices. In addition, visit the website together.mit.edu/askforhelp for other resources.
     
  • The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund is now accepting proposals from any MIT community member with an innovative wellness idea, such as last year's successful "Tell Me About Your Day" bracelets.
     
  • MindHandHeart is seeking volunteers for its working groups.
     

I also want to note an effort to enhance the mental health and well-being resources for MIT staff. Human Resources, under the leadership of the Work-Life Center, is developing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP is a confidential and free service that helps employees with concerns affecting their personal and professional lives. You will hear more about this resource in the coming months, and we look forward to a spring 2016 implementation.

I know how committed MIT staff members are to MIT and its students. Thank you in advance for visibly showing students that you care, that they are not alone, and that it is okay to ask for help.

Sincerely,

Lorraine A. Goffe-Rush
VP for Human Resources