Social Justice Statement
The ongoing pattern of systematic oppression and violence against people of color is a public health crisis that has led to a sense of threat among many and to the repeated unjust deaths of Black people in particular. This is in stark contrast with basic human rights. The staff of the Student Mental Health and Counseling Services stands with our students, staff, and faculty of color in denouncing racial oppression and brutality and the system of white supremacy that perpetuates it. It is clear that repeated experiences of racial trauma take a toll on the physical, mental, and spiritual health of many members of our community and that people of color have long carried the weight of this burden. We are committed to deepening our understanding of racial trauma and its impact on the individuals we are privileged to serve. We will offer a safe space to share these stories. We pledge to use our collective voice to advocate for equity and justice across the Institute and in our wider communities.
Supporting our Asian and Asian American community at MIT
The recent surge in attacks on Asian communities across the United States has been quite disturbing for all of us. According to Stop AAPI Hate, the spread of COVID-19 coincided with increased physical and verbal assaults towards Asian Americans, and between March and December 2020, 2,808 complaints (8.7% physical assaults, 71% verbal harassment) were reported to that organization. Similarly, Pew Research Center, in their June 2020 poll, found that 31 percent of Asian Americans reported being the subject of racial slurs and jokes. Such violent, anti-Asian sentiments were further exacerbated in the last few years with irresponsible political rhetoric. The Atlanta attacks, especially, left us with feelings of shock, disbelief, and a sense of collective trauma.
At MIT, we greatly value our Asian communities and feel immensely saddened by the unimaginable health impact, mental and physical, of such race- and gender-based violence on our students, faculty, staff, colleagues, and friends. We stand by you and your loved ones. We are thinking of you and your wellbeing. Please know that all of us respond to traumas differently, and it is quite ok to feel multiple, mixed feelings. When the time is right, please reach out to Student Mental Health and Counseling Services for support.
Student Mental Health & Counseling Services: 617-253-2916
MIT Police: 617-253-1212
Urgent Care: 617-253-4481
Dean on Call: 617-253-1212
MIT MyLife Services: Free, confidential 24/7 assistance for staff, faculty, & post docs
MIT Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR): reporting harm
President Reif’s statement
Attacks on the U.S. Capitol
We recognize that our students may be feeling mixed and even conflicting emotions following the traumatic events in Washington, D.C., on January 6. Such feelings are common following a distressing and traumatic event. Some students might feel confusion, disbelief, anxiety, sadness, and shock, while others feel a sense of numbness and disconnection.
We all react to disturbing events in different ways, and we want you to know that there are many things you can do to support and maintain your overall wellness; the strategies below can be useful. If you find yourself struggling and in need of additional help, available options are listed at the bottom of this page.
Take care of your mind
- Listen to “Digital Detox and Self-Care” by James Niels Rosenquist, MD.
- Stay informed but limit your exposure to news consumption.
- Limit exposure to political sparring and attacks on social media.
- Watch “Fight, Flight, or Freeze” by Daniel Debowy, MD, PhD, to understand and monitor your various responses.
Take care of your body
- Maintain a healthy eating and restful sleeping schedule.
- Listen to “Food for Thought” by Christina Brothers, LICSW.
- Learn more about sleep hygiene.
- Learn more about healthy eating.
- Engage in physical activities that are meaningful and restorative,
- Stretch, walk, run, or do any other physical activity possible within your schedule.
- Join classes & programs through Community Wellness at MIT Medical.
Take care of your relationships
- Connect with people that you trust.
- Seek support from your loved ones or a mentor, counselor, or community elder.
- Check out the family activity workshop offered by Community Wellness at MIT Medical.
Focus on your overall wellbeing
- Start each day with intentionality.
- Develop a hobby or consider an activity.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Listen to “Mindfulness & Self-Care” with Erik Marks, LICSW.
- Watch “Baking Bread with Tony”, by Tony Lim, MD.
- Check out Mindfulness recordings from Community Wellness at MIT Medical.
- Watch “Anytime Unwind” by Zan Barry, PsyD.
- Try mindful walking.
- Try a medication app like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer. Visit Community Wellness at MIT Medical for more recommendations.
- Listen to “CBT strategies to reduce stress & anxiety” by Maryam Khodadoust, PsyD.
- Learn to recognize your inner critic, actively reframe, and be kind to yourself.
We are here for you! Reach out for help if you need it.
Student Mental Health & Counseling Services
Phone: 617-253-2916, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
We can respond to mental health-related inquiries, schedule virtual visits, connect you with one of our providers, or help you match with a mental health professional in the community.
Clinicians are on call for emergencies 24 hours a day.
Telehealth resources for students currently residing outside the United States
Workplace Options (WPO) is a global therapy and support service for currently enrolled MIT students who are studying abroad due to the pandemic.
This confidential service offers support for international students and their families related to work or personal issues, including short-term professional counseling and referrals to local resources to help manage emotional, physical, financial, and social needs.
Workplace Options Company code: MIT 2020
Find more support on our COVID-19 resources page.