Harvard is set to launch a campus-wide mental health awareness campaign, along with a list of new wellness resources, the University announced Thursday.
The new initiatives are led by the Student Mental Health Implementation Committee, led by Provost Alan M. Garber ’76. The Commission is charged with the implementation of recommendation done by the Harvard Task Force on Student Mental Health Management, a group convened by Garber in 2019 to analyze the state of student well-being at Harvard.
“Strong mental self-care is essential to the long-term success we hope for all of our students,” the task force wrote in its 2020 final report.
The new mental health awareness campaign, which was among the recommendations produced by the task force, will be called We Are All Human. University administrators wrote in an email Thursday that the school has also developed a virtual learning module that provides information on “self-care management skills, opportunities to engage in wellness activities, support services offered by the University ” and other instructions.
“Across the University, we are committed to changing the culture when it comes to our mental health and well-being,” Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair wrote in an email announcing the initiatives to College associates. “Harvard should be, and can be, a community that embraces the prioritization of well-being and eliminates existing stigmas around mental health and care-seeking.”
The online learning module marks the first step in the launch of the University’s campaign.
Students from all schools of the University will have access to the module throughout their time at Harvard and can complete the course multiple times. Students are not required to complete the module, but it is recommended.
The We Are All Human campaign was developed with input from undergraduate and graduate students, along with faculty and staff, O’Dair wrote in her email.
“The Dean of Students Office and many offices within the College and University look forward to working with you and every member of our community to change the culture around wellness and mental health,” she wrote.
The University also plans to make wellness and mental health resources more accessible by increasing the capacity of the Counseling and Mental Health Service. In March, wait time for new patients to get an appointment with CAMHS reached approximately six weeksaccording to CAMHS Chief Barbara Lewis.
“Intellectual growth and academic achievement should not come at the expense of well-being,” said the We Are All Human campaign website. “Together, we can create a culture at Harvard that embraces the importance of mental health and wellness.”
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