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Texas Well-being



The Whole Student

Professor meeting with students outside to carry on informal discussion

General Well-being Practices

Students who reported poor mental health but did not qualify for a diagnosis were three times more likely to experience academic impairment than students who reported a flourishing mental health state (Keyes et al., 2013). This research suggests that the mere absence of a mental-health disorder does not indicate flourishing mental health, and that positive factors such as social connection, emotional well-being and psychological health can help to protect students from academic impairment.

  • Remember your students are human, and so are you.
  • Be passionate about what you teach.
  • Use humor if possible.
  • Be happy about teaching.
  • Try to reduce the power dynamic between you and students.
  • Allow students to see your authentic self, including your mistakes and vulnerabilities.
  • Talk about mental health openly to destigmatize it.
  • Share ways that you practice self-care, and have students share how they practice it as well.
  • Include information in your syllabus about mental health (but avoid copying and pasting this information from somewhere else).
  • For more information about working with students in distress, refer to How You Can Help Students in Distress: A Guide for Faculty and Staff.
  • Show students the “THRIVE AT UT AUSTIN” APP developed by the Counseling and Mental Health Center and model how to use it.

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THE MORE HUMANIZED THE PROFESSORS SEEM, THE BETTER YOU CAN HANDLE UNDERSTANDING WHERE THEY’RE COMING FROM WITH GIVING ASSIGNMENTS, AND THE LESS STRESSED YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING TO TALK TO THEM.
—Student

Professor meeting with a student during office hours


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I try to be honest with students that although I’m a professor, and I went to grad school and got a job at UT Austin, I have been in their seats and their space. I have been overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. So I guess I try to humanize myself and our roles a little bit.
—Mary Rose
College of Liberal Arts

The whole student