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Rackham Graduate School pres.

Rackham North: Distress Signals—Supporting Students Facing Mental Health Challenges

Distress Signals unpacks a common interaction—Jade visits her professor during office hours to discuss an extension for a paper—into a complex meditation on mental health and instructor responsibility. The performance (which at first unfolds chronologically and then repeats certain interactions with different faculty behavioral choices) is interspersed with facilitated discussion. Together, audiences examine the productive and problematic behaviors and attitudes on display in the instructor’s choices, and receive research-based strategies and campus resources to help them better support students. This session is appropriate for faculty, graduate student instructors, and academic leaders.
In this session, participants will:

Familiarize themselves with current information about the landscape of student mental health issues.
Identify principles that can productively shape instructor interactions with students in mild to moderate distress.
Reflect on how their own practice of supporting students in distress might be informed by these principles.
Receive information about relevant campus resources, proactive ways of supporting student well-being, and steps to take to support a student in high distress.

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