The past year has seen an increased focus on issues of student support and wellness at MIT, much of it in reaction to the blog post by Lydia K on the MIT Admissions Web Site. One outcome of this focus has been more open discussion on campus about the mental health obstacles that students may face here. See in particular the Active Minds web site.
As Associate Chair of the MIT Faculty for the next two years (AY13-AY14, from July 1 2013 to June 31, 2015), and as someone who has taught in the GIRs since 1971, I am very concerned about this issue.
I have been clinically depressed and am open about it, especially to MIT students, many of whom are under extrarodinary pressure. Because of this, Betsy Riley ’14, UA Student Support Committee Chair, appoached me about writing an article in the Tech about my depression. David Randall of S^3 facilitated the interaction.
I was motivated (actually "inspired" is a better word) to do this both by Ms. Riley's request and by an article by Grace Taylor ’12 in The Tech. The article about my experience with depression appeared both in The Tech and in the MIT Faculty Newsletter.