Health at MIT

A Special Report by The Tech

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The graph shows the top reported health impediments to MIT students’ academic performance. These results are from the National College Health Assessment research survey organized by the American College Health Association. The ACHA-NCHA survey was sent to MIT students in March 2006. Of the students invited to take the survey, the total response rate was 28 percent with 876 respondents. Additionally, women and freshmen were more likely to respond. Given the response rate and bias, the results “should be interpreted with caution,” according to information provided by Mandy D. Smith, research analyst in the Office of the Provost.
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The MIT Medical Building (E23) is located next to the Media Lab near Amherst and Ames St.
Tech File Photo
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The waiting room at MIT Medical’s Mental Health Services.
Tech File Photo
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Daniel D. Jimenez ’10 learns how to perform CPR on a dummy in La Sala de Puerto Rico on April 3, 2008 in an event sponsored by MIT-EMS.
Ricardo Ramirez—Tech File Photo
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The MIT-EMS ambulance parked outside Building 9.
Clara J. Stefanov-Wagner
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Howard D. Kellogg ’08 pedals hard during the Iron Nerd Triathlon on Saturday, May 5, 2007, held as part of last year’s Wellness Week sponsored by the Undergraduate Association Committee on Student Life.
Kristina M. Holton—Tech File Photo
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Pictured is the first of three Automated External Defibrillators installed in Spring 2006 in the Student Center. The other two were installed in the Stata Center and Infinite Corridor, and more were added the following year. The AEDs were funded by a large-scale CPR event hosted by MIT American Red Cross Team and Network (ARCTAN) and MIT-EMS.
Christina Kang—Tech File Photo
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Jessica Sunmee Kim ’10 is seen walking past a Nightline poster in Building 16 on Monday.
Michael T. Lin—The Tech
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Salman A. Aldukheil ’10
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Joseph P. Diaz ’10
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Elizabeth H. Bellocchio ’10
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Kyle M. Knoblock ’11
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Anjan Soumyanarayanan G
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Jesse Lopez ’08
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Margarita N. Trevino-Garrido ’11
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Susanna “Zan” Barry, a health educator at MIT Medical.

Dear Reader,

The most fundamental concern of the MIT community must, of necessity, be its own health. If we are to maintain this essential component of the university, we must first understand the system, what works, and what needs improvement.

The purpose of this special section of The Tech is to explore the wide range of health issues at MIT, mental health chief among them.

In these pages, we have invited campus opinion leaders to explain how their projects and programs contribute to the landscape of health at the Institute. An anonymous student columnist who used MIT Mental Health Services for the first time this year describes how taking the first step — asking for help — was the best decision of a school year, and how friends reacted when they found out. Additionally, two health educators give advice on simple ways to add wellness to your lifestyle.

Other columnists explain how health affects the life of MIT community members. In one column, the Graduate Student Council describes a new dental plan that will serve graduate students who have, for a year, had no coverage.

We have also reported on the issues that profoundly affect the well-being of those in our community, from a new alcohol training program to the rapidly growing MIT ambulance service. Elsewhere in the news section, The Tech explores how, in one interpretation, MIT’s suicide rate is below the national average for college-age students; but in another, it’s twice as high as the average for college students. And we explain how the free services that Mental Health Services provides help people who feel depressed, need motivation, or just want someone to talk to.

We hope that this section’s news stories, columns, and viewpoints will help improve your understanding of health in the community.

Angeline Wang

Contributing Editor, The Tech