For the Men’s Club Rugby team, the Fall 2021 season followed a challenging year as the pandemic required limitations to practice and play. It was especially difficult as the team started with just eight returning players. While there were experienced…
Graduate Student Mental Health Workshop for Faculty Dec. 3
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, researchers reported rates of anxiety and depression among graduate students that are substantially higher than the general population. As the pandemic has heightened anxiety and stress among graduate students, faculty are finding new challenges in their roles as graduate teachers, advisors, and mentors. Against this backdrop, the Graduate School continues its professional development workshop series for faculty with a session focused on Graduate Mentoring and Mental Health, 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.
Leading the workshop will be Cory Wallack, Ph.D., executive director of health and wellness at the Barnes Center at The Arch. Peter Vanable, Graduate School dean and professor of psychology, will serve as the facilitator. Dean Vanable will discuss the scope of graduate student mental health challenges with reference to current data. He will address the critical importance of the advising relationship in terms of student success and vulnerability to mental health concerns. Wallack will describe some of the ways that mental health issues are likely to manifest in graduate students; if, when and how to make a referral; and the various interventions and treatment options available through the Barnes Center and other resources at the University and beyond.
Drawing on representative case histories and polling data from participants, the workshop will prompt reflection and engagement around complex issues. Topics may include how to respond appropriately to different scenarios around mental health concerns, negotiating proximity and distance in the mentoring dynamic, culturally inflected understandings of mental health and the possible coexistence of mental health challenges for faculty mentors. Recognizing the deep intertwining of the academic and the personal in students’ lives, the workshop aims to help faculty consider how they can most effectively support their advisees and students, with the goal of promoting retention, degree completion and career transition.