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Distress Signals: Supporting Students Facing Mental Health Challenges

January 21, 2020, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

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.

Registration is required at

We want to ensure full and equitable participation in our events. If an accommodation would promote your full participation in this event, please follow the registration link to indicate your accommodation requirements. Please let us know as soon as possible in order to have adequate time (one week preferred) to arrange for your requested accommodation(s) or an effective alternative.


January 21, 2020
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST
Event Category:


Event Type
Workshop / Seminar
Rackham Graduate School (Horace H.)