Wellbeing is a serious matter for Tec de Monterrey. That’s why, especially during the pandemic, it has set itself the task of looking after the health of its collaborators with the support of mental health professions from different institutions.
As part of the different steps it is taking to maintain the wellbeing of its community, Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Jed Foundation signed an agreement to look after students’ emotional health.
Based in New York, the Jed Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide by young people and adults in the United States. This partnership between both organizations to reinforce mental health care in the Tec community was publicized through the Institute’s official channels.
Mental health has an impact on student development. From 2016 to 2018, the first steps were taken to concentrate efforts in order to have solid care and support programs.
Raúl Domínguez, Vice Rector of Student Affairs, said via streaming video that the work done with the Jed Foundation was formalized in 2020, a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to have a program that benefited students.
Creating a mentally healthy environment is a challenge. To do so, the Tec has combined the efforts of partners, institutions, and professionals from different countries. “We’re convinced that to reach our goal, we need to create a culture of looking after ourselves and others in order to make progress in our institutional vision,” adds Domínguez.
The reason for including the Jed Foundation’s mental health program is to have a system with at least 20 years’ experience in suicide prevention.
“The Tec is the first school in Latin America to incorporate the Jed program. We’re looking to learn from you in this journey,” said John MacPhee, Executive Director of the Jed Foundation. “Schools and universities are places where a lot can be done to really boost students’ mental health,” he adds.
MacPhee said that pressure, stress, and the pursuit of academic excellence can be experiences that require a sympathetic environment and a culture of care.
For his part, Juan Pablo Murra Lascurain, Rector of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies at Tec de Monterrey, said that suicides have increased in Latin America. “In many countries, suicide is the second biggest cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. According to the World Health Organization, it’s on the rise,” he says.
This institution has implemented different initiatives in order to prevent it from spreading in Mexico and especially in the Tec community. Murra Lascurain emphasized that these include the work being done on different campuses to be close to students and their families despite the pandemic.
As well as this partnership, Tec de Monterrey has made the following forms of mental health care available to its community.
T Queremos, a free helpline that operates 24 hours a day, 356 days a year: 800 813 9500.
The Taking Care of Your Mind website, where the Tec uses internal and external resources to look after the community’s emotional wellbeing through news and advice from health experts.
There is also constant monitoring of cases that might require further help in coping with the pandemic.
For Alex Tarriba, a student of clinical psychology and health sciences at Tec de Monterrey, it is crucial for academic institutions to look after students’ wellbeing. The signing of this agreement heralds a new era in mental health care.