Task Force Mental Health & Well-Being

Mission and objectives

Mental health is just as important as physical health. But it remains a taboo topic in many settings, especially at universities. EPFL is committed to making the well-being of its community a strategic priority – and to creating an environment where everyone can get information, seek support and talk openly about mental health.

In line with this commitment, a Mental Health and Well-Being Task Force – under the leadership of the Associate Vice Presidency for Student Affairs and Outreach (AVP-SAO) – has been set up to develop a mental health strategy. This Task Force, which includes four working groups (see below), follows a similar model to the Task Force Harassment A-Z & Promoting a Culture of Respect.

The Task Force’s first tasks will be to conduct a survey to pinpoint the issues affecting mental health within the EPFL community, to identify our community’s needs, and to determine what measures need to be implemented. Once this exercise is complete, the Task Force will develop a mental health strategy that includes a series of practical measures.  At a later date, community members will receive a second questionnaire asking for feedback on these measures.

The Task Force will also design a training program on how to support those facing mental health challenges, and a special event – Mental health week – will take place on the EPFL campus on 21–25 November 2022.

We would be happy to receive your questions, comments or suggestions at the following address: [email protected]


Task Force members

  • Hess Bellwald Kathryn, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Outreach (AVP-SAO), Task Force initiator
  • Belias Evangelos, Coordinator PolyDoc, representing doctoral students
  • Berney Sylvie, Associate Physician, Head of EPFL’s Psychotherapeutic Consultation Team
  • Chuard Daniel, Deputy, Associate Vice Presidency for Student Affairs and Outreach (AVP-SAO)
  • Du Pasquier Eric, Director, Department of Security, Safety and Facilities Operations (DSE)
  • Duvillard Laureline, Communication Manager, Vice Presidency for Academic Affairs (VPA)
  • Feuz Corinne, Deputy Director of Communication and Spokesperson, MEDIACOM
  • Fueger Hélène, Equal Opportunities Delegate, representing the Vice Presidency for Responsible Transformation (VPT)
  • Kolendowska Albertine, Research Associate, Associate Vice Presidency for Student Affairs and Outreach (AVP-SAO), Task Force coordinator
  • Lashuel Hilal, Associate Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Neuroproteomics
  • Mair Philip, Deputy, Associate Vice Presidency for Postgraduate Education (AVP-PGE)
  • Noth Claudia, Director, Department of Human Resources
  • Reva Maria, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Ritter Nathalie, Head, Student Affairs Department (SAE)
  • Tormey Roland, Head, Teaching Support Center (CAPE)
  • Zoé Marsaly, Student, Head of AGEPoly prevention team, representing non-doctoral students
  • Van De Poel Fanny, Social Counselor, Student Affairs Department (SAE)

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Working groups

This working group is tasked with designing and conducting a survey of the entire EPFL community (staff and students) in order to gather data on the issues affecting mental health, to pinpoint any specific problems, to identify needs and to determine what measures need to be implemented.

Membres: Kristin Becker, Roland Tormey, Daniel Chuard, Maria Reva, Belias Evangelios

This working group is tasked with designing a mental health first-responder training. These courses will be open to all members of the EPFL community and will teach participants how to spot the early signs of mental health issues and equip them to provide appropriate support. First responders are not expected to fulfill the role of qualified therapists. Instead, they will be trained to help people who are struggling and explain where they can get further support.

Membres: Kathryn Hess Bellwald, Sylvie Berney, Ofra Hazanov, Zoé Marsaly, Philip Mair, Nathalie Ritter

This working group is tasked with organizing EPFL’s Mental health and wellbeing week, which will take place on the Lausanne campus from 21 to 25 November 2022. The event will raise awareness among the EPFL community, give people an opportunity to share their experiences, and dispel myths and misconceptions around mental health issues.

Membres: Albertine Kolendowska, Laureline Duvillard, Emmanuelle Marendaz Colle, Bettina Caruso, Zoé Marsaly; Van De Poel Fanny

This working group is tasked with developing measures and initiatives for EPFL employees (teaching, administrative and technical staff), a population for which measures still need to be developed.

Working group led by Hilal Lashuel

Schedule

21-25 November 2022: Mental health week held on campus

21 November 2022: Survey launched

February 2023: Survey report and results shared with upper management

Summer 2023: Task Force report and recommendations shared with upper management

Start of the 2023-2024 school year: Initial measures implemented

Psychosocial risks

Get help and support in the event of a threat to physical or mental health, or report mobbing, harassment or other issues.

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