Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
MIT began putting an increased emphasis on the nonacademic aspects of student life in the late 1990s. New residence halls were built, dining options were expanded, a 13,000-square-foot sports and recreation facility was opened, and the Institute made a dedicated effort to enhance its mental health-care system.
A task force assigned to study student mental health issued its report in 2001. Following that report, MIT made a number of important enhancements to the mental health services it provides to students.
MIT now provides more campus-based therapy and allows students to obtain walk-in mental health care even for nonemergencies. Depression screening and suicide prevention programs have been initiated for both undergraduate and graduate students.
MIT has hired additional mental health staff who are fluent in languages other than English and who help mirror the diversity of the student body.
MIT's mental health department has also extended its hours, so that students can schedule appointments in the evening. Students have always had 24-hour access to emergency care.
In addition, enhanced coordination and program planning between the Medical Department and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation; Housing; the Disabilities Office; Counseling and Support Services; Residential Life and Student Life; and the Chaplaincy have improved student care.
Mental health services are coordinated within the MIT Medical Department, which is fully staffed by physicians, psychiatrists and other medical specialists who work in an on-campus facility. The department serves as the primary care facility for most students and many faculty and staff members. The facility includes a 24-hour care hospital.
For more information, visit web.mit.edu/medical/services/s-mentalhealth.html.