The program offers three primary services facilitated by the Rackham Well-Being Advocate, a direct staff liaison to all participating academic departments:
Department Advocate Team
Commitment: One academic year
Description: A Department Advocate Team comprised of academic departmental faculty and/or staff will work with the Rackham Well-Being Advocate to:
- Reflect on the strengths of the department, as well as identify opportunities for improvement, including programmatic and structural changes.
- Select from a menu of intervention options, which can be tailored to the department’s needs.
- Work together to implement and assess solutions.
Commitment: one month to one academic term
Description: Tailored to address a specific short-term matter and/or need within an academic department, the Rackahm Well-Being Advocate provides mental health and well-being resources, information, support, and guidance to Rackham graduate program staff and faculty on an ad hoc basis.
Commitment: one to two academic years
Description: Supported by the Rackham Well-Being Advocate, the Faculty/Staff Advocate may serve in multiple roles:
- As a member of the department Advocate Team
- As a point person for students seeking mental health and well-being resources, including disability accommodations.
- As a resource and educator of well-being best practices, research, and data for other faculty within the department.
Based on a recommendation by the Rackham Graduate School Student Mental Health Task Force, Rackham Graduate School created the Well-Being Advocate Program and the Well-Being Advocate role to provide support for graduate student mental health and well-being at the graduate program level.
Because graduate student mental health and well-being can be supported at a variety of levels, from individual behaviors to departmental and institutional structures, the Well-Being Advocate Program utilizes four main themes to help guide the process of identifying issues within graduate programs that impact student-mental health and well-being outcomes:
- Practices that support well-being
- Building trust and initiating conversations
- Understanding student stressors and how those vary over the course of a Ph.D. and/or master’s program
- Departmental policies, practices, and structures
Well-Being Advocate Program Student Advisory Board
Working in consultation with the Rackham Well-Being Advocate, this student advisory board provides a forum and voice for student ideas, information, and concerns regarding student mental health and well-being within graduate programs.
Responsibilities of the Well-Being Advocate Program Advisory Board include:
- Providing recommendations, advice, and feedback on current and future student well-being initiatives and programming within select graduate programs to the Rackham Well-Being Advocate program
- Serving as a liaison between the Advocate Program and the Rackham Mental Health and Well-Being Committee
If you are interested in serving on the Advisory Group, please complete the application by January 12.
Interested in working with our Well-Being Advocate to create change in your academic department? Send us an email! We’d love to hear from you.