Creative programming supports mental health at YSN

March 10, 2018

A Mental Health Task Force, convened by the dean, and comprising a group of YSN faculty and students, have made recommendations to address mental health needs in the school. Following a survey of the student body, the task force identified a number of areas where the school will offer ongoing support.

Dr. Samantha Morris, a staff psychologist from Yale Mental Health, will begin twice-weekly drop-in hours at YSN, offering thirty minute sessions for anyone who would like to talk. Through the peer advocates program, trained first and second year specialty students will be available to help students navigate academic and co-curricular experiences, in both individual and group settings. Finally, clinical processing groups have been established to provide GEPN students with a non-evaluative space where they can gather to share and process clinical experiences. Pairs of Yale Nursing alumni and first year specialty teaching assistants have been trained to host these weekly, informal group sessions, often over a meal.

This programming presents a creative range of options for students who want to take full advantage of their time at Yale. Dean Ann Kurth commented, “It is never easy being an adult learner in rigorous programs that often involve seeing people in some of their most vulnerable moments. It is imperative to address our existing mental health needs, as well as to proactively manage our stresses in the process of becoming – and practicing –  as nurses over the long haul. Especially as we mourn in the aftermath of yet another senseless school shooting, I want to reiterate the importance of taking care of ourselves, each other, and our larger communities. Safety and support are a right for all of us, and advocacy is an embedded element of our profession.”

The Mental Health Task Force comprised: Judy Krauss, Heather Reynolds, Joanne Iennaco, Andree de Lisser, Saveena Dhall, Raymond Gunn, Vanessa Correia, Morgan Mako, Carolyn Kirwan, Lois Sadler, Reese Ramponi, Alex Weiner and Orawan Gardner.