Dean of Students Chalak Richards Interviewed in "Law Schools Try Texting to Monitor Students' Mental Health" -- Reuters
Dean of students, diversity, and belonging Chalak Richards is interviewed in the Reuters article, "Law Schools Try Texting to Monitor Students' Mental Health." The article considers the use of Early Alert, a mental health service first developed for medical schools, in U.S. law schools.
Excerpts from "Law Schools Try Texting to Monitor Students' Mental Health"
“It has had substantive impact,” said Chalak Richards, dean of students, Diversity and Belonging, at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, which began using Early Alert in the spring of 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced classes to go online. “I don’t have to wait for faculty to notice that one person in their class of 55 seems off.”
At Pepperdine, Richards said 89% of first-year students have opted in, adding that students have been more proactive about seeking out campus counselors since the program began. About 80% of law students at Roger Williams are participating, said associate dean of student life and operations, Lorraine Lalli.
Law schools cannot see the content of individual responses but are alerted if a student responds to a prompt with a rating of 0-3. When that happens, Richards said she calls or emails to offer support.
“Every single student I’ve reached out to has been exceptionally grateful for the contact and has said they did not think anyone even knew they were going through something,” she said.
The complete article may be found at Reuters