New CARE Team promotes student mental wellness

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It’s no secret that medical students face stress – lots of it. Unabated stress can significantly hinder academic performance, resulting in depression or worse. 

As part of a school-wide effort to address student wellness issues, the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine has launched the CARE Team to identify potentially troubled students early, and to offer assistance to help them overcome their difficulties.  

CARE Team members will take a proactive and preventative approach to risk assessment and want to engage everyone in the MSUCOM community in their work.  The goal is to educate students, faculty and staff to recognize signs of student distress. 

 “Medical students tend to be high-performers who are sometimes reluctant to ask for help,” said John Taylor, director of the MSUCOM Office of Personal Counseling/Health Promotion. “We want to create a culture of help-seeking behavior. We’re all in this together.”

While students can seek help on their own, building a corps of others who are trained to recognize signs of distress might help prevent the future doctors from suffering or losing ground in their studies. 

“The goal is not to discipline or interfere in the student’s life, but simply to offer help, to let the student know that they do not have to face their challenges alone,” Taylor continued. “The student may then voluntarily take advantage of the resources provided by the CARE Team, or they may choose not to.” 

Coordinating wellness efforts within MSUCOM has always been a challenge. 

“Because the services are not centralized, oftentimes someone will want to help a student in need but not know who to call, so they don’t call anyone,” said Kim Peck, director of the Office of Academic Success and Career Planning. 

The CARE Team serves as a central hub for directing appropriate services to the student, depending on what their issue is. Services that may be recommended include personal counseling, academic advising, tutoring and medical care. All CARE Team communications and services are strictly confidential.



To learn more about the CARE Team, visit http://com.msu.edu/About/CARETeamor email msucomcareteam@hc.msu.edu.