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Far from home when something stressful, shocking, or sad happens...

International Scholars

Campus in Springtime

Support for International Scholars and their Families

You came to MIT from afar, leaving family, colleagues and friends at home. Although you may have been nervous about adjusting to a new life in the US, you were also filled with excitement to work hard and be successful in your career. But unexpected things can happen. You may become overwhelmed with stress. You or someone you know may get sick or hurt. A tragic event may happen here or in your home country. When something unfortunate happens, your family may worry about you, or you about them.

It is normal to feel worried, nervous, or very tired when you feel stress or after there has been a shocking or sad event. Some of the most important things you can do are to stay in contact with others, call, text or email your family and friends at home. Be social with friends or work mates at MIT, outside the laboratory or office. Try to keep a regular schedule as much as possible. It may be very difficult to make yourself to wake up at your normal time and to eat meals even when you feel you have lost your appetite. It may be hard to fall asleep, but sleep is even more important when you feel sad or worried. Common Reactions to Traumatic Events

There are people at MIT who care about you. We want for you to remain healthy emotionally and to feel that you can talk about how you are feeling confidentially (without telling anyone you live or work with). Seeking help is not a sign of weakness; it is a healthy thing to do.

You may want to seek the comfort of spiritual and religious staff of the MIT Chaplains.

You can come to see an advisor in the International Scholars Office. We will listen to you. And, if you want, we will help you to find the best person at MIT to understand and assist you.

MyLife Services is available to MIT employees, postdoctoral associates and postdoctoral fellows, and their family members. This is a free, confidential MIT benefit. One call puts you in touch with a network of experts who can provide counseling, work-life consultations, and referrals. For more information, read the overview and enter the MyLife Services website, or call 844-405-5433 (TTY 866-892-7162), 24 hours a day. This benefit includes short-term emotional and mental health services, consultations about how to help someone in distress, and support before, during, and after a disruptive event. Among other services, you may have up to five consultations with a mental health professional, per family member, per issue or concern, with no out-of-pocket cost. (If you to continue seeing a mental health professional for this concern, you may use your health insurance coverage and copayments may be required.)

Visitors (visiting professors, visiting scholars, visiting scientists, etc.) enrolled in the MIT Affiliate Health Plan may receive assistance by contacting Faith Bennett, Referral Coordinator at the MIT Mental Health & Counseling Service, at 617-253-2916 who will help with finding a participating clinician in the insurance network.

Perhaps you do not feel overly worried or anxious, but you feel stress during your work day and need to calm yourself. You can call 3-CALM (3-2256) from any campus phone or 617-253-2256 from your cell phone or an outside phone and you will hear a guided relaxation for several minutes. In addition to 3-CALM, Community Wellness at MIT Medical provides a variety of other resources for stress reduction, mindfulness, and relaxation.

If you are worried about someone else at MIT or your spouse or partner who seems depressed or upset, listen to what he or she has to say, without trying to give a solution. Simply tell that person you are concerned. Even if he or she insists nothing is wrong, it will help that person to know that you care. You can also encourage the person to contact MyLife Services,if applicable.

Last Updated: April 2017

50 Ames St, Room E18-209, Cambridge, MA 02142 | Telephone: (617) 253-2851 | Fax: (617) 253-6624 | E-mail: ischo@mit.edu