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Introducing GradConnect, a new mental health and wellness resource for graduate students

GradWell is introducing GradConnect, a new mental health and wellness resource for graduate students. GradConnect​ is a virtual workshop series designed to foster​​ connections and provide wellness tools for graduate students.

Monthly GradConnect workshops will cultivate graduate student wellbeing in all areas. Through activities and dialogue, students will develop skills​ and gain knowledge​ related to their own mental health and wellness. The GradConnect series will engage students in discussions related to work/life balance, professional relationships, role transitions, physical activity and nutrition, and much more.

“We’re looking forward to meeting with students from across campus about their graduate student experiences,” said Brette Stephenson, GradWell coordinator. “It’s our hope to provide skills and strategies to graduate students so they can find community and support their overall wellness while pursuing their personal and academic goals.”

GradWell, ‘be well to do well’, was created by the Graduate College in response to an identified gap in graduate student mental health resources. These types of initiatives are crucial, as graduate students report symptoms of depression and related anxiety more often than the general population. However, Boise State is one of the few graduate colleges across the nation to implement a targeted mental health initiative for graduate students.

“We are proud to be part of a university that cares so deeply about its students,” stated Tammi Vacha-Haase, dean of the Graduate College. “The Graduate College is honored to be a leader in graduate student mental health initiatives by offering unique programs and resources to our graduate community. GradConnect is taking another step toward helping graduate students to focus on their overall wellbeing. Outstanding opportunities are available through GradWell and we encourage graduate students to take advantage of them.”

The GradWell initiative is rooted in “Blue Turf” thinking. GradWell not only provides student support resources, but has expanded their programming to include services and collaborative opportunities for graduate faculty. Earlier this year, Kelly Rossetto, an associate professor in the Department of Communication and Media, was named faculty director for GradWell. Since joining the team, Rossetto has facilitated discussions, hosted workshops, and incorporated educational resources for graduate faculty regarding graduate student mental health and wellness.

The integration of faculty strengthens GradWell’s overall mission. By equipping faculty members with resources and tools to help their students succeed, faculty can play a vital role in shifting the culture around graduate student mental health. Faculty working in tandem with student services like GradConnect, helps to collectively educate the campus community about the importance of graduate student wellness and provide essential resources for students.

Graduate students are invited to attend the next GradConnect workshop from noon-1 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 11. During the virtual session, students will have the opportunity to discuss professional relationships and participate in an interactive exercise.