Wayne State tells campus community: Take Oct. 30 as a mental health day
The disrupted college lifestyle is weighing on Wayne State University students, its leaders have found. So, on Oct. 30, they want a pause in activities, including classes, for a mental health day. "We've been checking in on students and they're feeling pretty stressed," Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Clabo told the Free Press. "We know they're tired. We're seeing students who are feeling isolated. We're just worried about them." So the university will drastically slow down on that day. "We want them to take a day to just take a pause and recharge so they are ready to finish out," Clabo said. M. Roy Wilson, the university's president, said in a pair of emails sent Thursday morning to the campus community. "The purpose of this day is to allow you time to focus on your health and emotional well-being during these challenging times, connect with fellow students, learn more about the resources available to help you cope and thrive, or close the laptop and dedicate the day to self-care. Faculty are being encouraged to give students some leeway on assignments, and even cancel classes for the day, if feasible." Wilson encouraged faculty and staff to give themselves a break as well. "Many faculty and staff have not been on campus since March, and continue to face additional stresses, from Zoom/Teams fatigue' and balancing work and child care, to the loss of working alongside our colleagues and the benefits that come with in-person engagement and collaboration. Many are working harder — and longer — and are not taking earned vacation time. While the changes in how we work were made with safety in mind, they bring new challenges, some of which can be unhealthy if not addressed." If Oct. 30 isn't feasible as a mental health day, leaders should consider allowing people to use another day, Wilson said.
October 23, 2020