Memo From President Bellack: CEOs Against Stigma

Memo From President Bellack: CEOs Against Stigma

January 28, 2016, MGH Institute of Health Professions

Dear IHP Community,

This past October, I joined and signed the CEOs Against Stigma initiative, a two-year effort by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts to publicize one of the leading causes of disability in the workplace. In doing so, we were the first Massachusetts college or university to sign on to this important initiative.

Ensuring that our talented students, faculty, and staff members feel supported in seeking treatment for mental health and illness issues not only creates a welcoming learning and work environment but also models the kind of compassionate care that we aim for our graduates to provide.

The Office of Human Resources and the Office of Student and Alumni Services have created this resource page that offers guidance for students, employees, and managers in supporting members of the community who may be dealing with mental health or illness issues. I encourage you to review these resources.

A sympathetic campus community that reaches out is vital to the recovery of someone facing mental health problems. You may be the first point of contact for a student or colleague with a mental health issue, with an opportunity to provide support and connect the person with needed resources.

The benefits of a stigma-free campus community are many. They include increasing student and employee retention, minimizing or avoiding longer time to degree completion, avoiding costs associated with retraining or hiring new employees, and building an Institute culture that demonstrates a commitment to a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone. While the topic of mental illness is often a sensitive one, faculty, staff, and students can make a world of difference by being supportive, by listening, and by being catalysts for eliminating the stigma that is too often associated with mental illness.

Thank you for taking time to familiarize yourself with these important resources.

Janis P. Bellack
President and John Hilton Knowles Professor
MGH Institute of Health Professions

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