Mental Health and Wellbeing

While we know the value of care for our mental health throughout the year, COVID-19 has caused additional stressors, even for people who typically have few mental health concerns. Social distancing, quarantine, and isolation can be overwhelming and cause even more stress for adults and children. Finding ways to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

MSU offers a wide range of support for you, your family and your students. To see the resources students have access to, please use this link.

The document entitled Addressing Student Mental Health Concerns in Online Courses was developed by Jon Ritz, who serves in the College of Arts & and Letters as coordinator of student health and wellness, along with Sam Hardey, a graphic design intern in College of Arts & Letters Marketing & Communications and Residential College in the Arts and Humanities major with minors in graphic design and entrepreneurship, provides thoughtful directions in support of remote learning and student success.


Kognito for Faculty & Staff

Students today face increasing pressures that can lead to emotional distress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even thoughts of suicide. As faculty and staff, we can take small steps that make a big difference. MSU has adopted an online conversation simulation, Kognito for Faculty & Staff, to help us learn to notice signs of distress, use techniques to discuss our concerns, and, if necessary, refer students to appropriate resources.

Kognito for Faculty & Staff lets you practice these challenging conversations at your own pace through role-play with virtual students. In a national study of effectiveness, this simulation has been shown to increase the number of student referrals to counseling. It is also listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry and under review for inclusion in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. To complete the simulation, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to
  • Create a New Account
  • Use Enrollment Key: msuemployee
  • Follow the on-screen instructions
  • Choose your simulation and click “LAUNCH”

It can be completed in multiple sittings and your progress will be saved.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me or tech support at or 212.675.9234. If you would like to introduce Kognito to your MSU unit, or if you have questions about Kognito at MSU, please contact Dr. Sheila Marquardt:


The Spartans Will, Spartans Well Podcast

Selfcare is not the usual ‘go to’ for educators who are inclined to help others. But research, science, experience, stories tell us taking time for ourselves [including listing to a podcast!] is very important. We invite you to experience … The Spartans Will, Spartans WELL Podcast: A space where educators can dock to get a second wind:


Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential short-term counseling and referral service provided at no cost to MSU faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees, and their insurance eligible dependents who are located within the state of Michigan.

EAP’s resource page:

EAP’s resource guide responding:

Health4U’s Emotional Wellness courses page, with upcoming courses and webinars and such will be posted:

Health4U general courses page, which has all of the focus areas (Emotional Wellness, Food and Nutrition, MSU Moves, My Health, and Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drug Information (ANDI):


The Work Life Office

Managing our work and personal lives presents ongoing challenges, and the WorkLife Office is here to support you throughout your career span at MSU. COVID has presented challenges unique to working at home, caring for family members including the elderly and children, and caring for one’s self. The Work Life office provides a wide range of resources.

Work Life Office webinars that provide mental health support:

WorkLife Office “Who to Call” website with information for all MSU Faculty and Staff that answers the question: "Who do I call for ____?"

Here is the WorkLife Office website “Let’s Talk About it: What Exactly is a Consultation?”

Here is the link where faculty, staff, post-docs, and/or their families can schedule a consultation, request a workshop or additional information, etc.

The WorkLife Office’s WorkLife Guide will help connect you to the breadth of resources available to you on campus and in the community for your work and personal lives:


The Jed Foundation (JED)

Transitioning into adulthood can bring big changes and intense challenges. The Jed Foundation (JED) empowers teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults. Students who are faced with navigating changes and uncertainty can lead to feelings of nervousness, fear, anxiety, and more. The following resources have been provided by JED:

Managing your stress and anxiety

Helping someone who is stressed and anxious

Resources for when you're feeling down

Tips for when someone you know is down

How to start a conversation about mental health

Resources if your child is worried about a friend