Get Involved in Improving the State of MIT Student Health

March 20, 2015

To the students, faculty, and staff of MIT,

We write to you together—as UA President, GSC President and Chancellor—because we want to tap your ideas and engage you directly in enhancing our student support system.

We know that many members of the community are interested in improving the state of student health at MIT. Today, in the best tradition of MIT problem-solving, we aim to come together in strategy and action:

  • If you are interested in taking concrete action, we want to connect you with MIT's student-led organizations that work directly to address mental health and well-being on campus. To learn more about whom to contact and how they are improving these issues at MIT, below is a table of existing student organizations, and attached is a PDF with a list of specific projects.
  • If you have a new idea for improving the state of mental health and well-being at MIT, the UA, GSC, and the Chancellor's Office are together providing any member of the community the opportunity to apply for a Wellness Grant.
  • We also welcome your recommendations for how to enhance our support system. Please send your ideas to we-are@mit.edu.

We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,
UA President Shruti Sharma
GSC President Kendall Nowocin
Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart

Initiatives by MIT Student Health Organizations

Active Minds @ MIT (Graduates and Undergraduates)
activeminds-exec@mit.edu
De-stigmatize mental illness by promoting an open, enlightened discussion of mental health issues. We educate students about the signs, symptoms, and prevalence of mental illnesses, and try to connect them with people at MIT living with mental illness who can share their stories. We also act as a liaison between the students and the mental health resources on campus to promote seeking help for mental health difficulties.

 
Art of Living @ MIT (Graduates and Undergraduates)
artofliving-officers@mit.edu
De-stressing and empowering MIT students through the tools mindfulness, yoga, and meditation. The club has created a community of wellness practices and openness for give a home to fun, connection, and deeper connection among MIT students.
 
GSC Housing and Community Affairs (Graduates)
gsc-hca@mit.edu
The HCA committee focuses on community issues and student services as they pertain to the entire graduate population. The committee's work focuses on ensuring that the MIT graduate experience is enjoyable, affordable, safe, healthy, and marked by a welcoming community.
 
GSC OneMIT (Graduates)
gsc-onemit@mit.edu
The board fosters interaction, communication, collaboration, understanding, respect, and well-being for the MIT community (faculty, researchers, grad students, undergrads, and staff), to promote academic, social, cultural, and professional activities across schools.
 
MedLinks (Undergraduates in dorms and FSILGs)
medlinks-exec@mit.edu
The MedLinks program is comprised of students who serve as liaisons between undergraduate students and MIT Medical. We support the health and well-being of MIT students—both in their living groups and within the wider MIT community—one-on-one and through larger campus events.
 
MIT GradLink (Graduates)
gradlink@mit.edu
A social media initiative by ODGE to connect graduate students to wellness resources on campus by alerting them to upcoming events, offering wellness tips, and encouraging an online community. Graduate students can be a part by following on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter (@MITGradStudents)
 
MIT Happy Club (Graduates and Undergraduates)
happy-plotters@mit.edu
Spreading Smiles All Across the Infinite. We want to bring happiness to the community through a series of events that promote wellness and hand out free snacks during stressful times (e.g., before exams).
 
Peer Ears (Undergraduates)
peerears@mit.edu
Peer Ears are students trained to support their peers' mental health and connect them with on-campus resources if necessary. The group hopes that eventually everyone on campus will know a friend who is open to talking about mental health issues.
 
REFS (Graduates)
refs.mit.edu
Resource for Easing Friction and Stress is a graduate student run entity for peer to peer support and connection. Some departments have one as well.
 
SaveTFP (Undergraduates)
savetfp@mit.edu
SaveTFP is a student group committed to reducing stress and facilitating student social activities while increasing health awareness and curbing dangerous behaviors at MIT.
 
SMASH (Graduates and Undergraduates)
smash-board@mit.edu
Facilitate student wellness by encouraging collaboration and shared endeavors across student health groups at MIT. Interface with MIT Medical to act as the on-the-ground "student voice."
 
UA Student Support & Wellness (Undergraduates)
ua-wellness-chairs@mit.edu
UA Student Support & Wellness leverages UA resources to advocate for the interests of undergraduate mental health, student support, and wellbeing. Our goal is to achieve a healthier, more supportive community by promoting active and meaningful engagement on student health at all levels of the Institute.