Faculty Wellness Program
Northwestern’s Faculty Wellness Program offers assistance to full-time faculty members who are experiencing difficulties in their professional or personal lives. Download a printable Faculty Wellness brochure here.
Life as a faculty member at a prestigious university can be stressful. Faculty members balance multiple roles as teachers, researchers, mentors, and managers. Three-quarters of university faculty report stress levels of moderate or higher, with ten percent reporting serious levels of stress. Elevated stress is the best predictor of faculty deciding to leave academia.
Stress, in turn, can lead to a wide range of personal and professional problems. There is a strong correlation between stress levels and career satisfaction, as personal problems can interfere with professional success and create obstacles to research, teaching, and working with others. By identifying and addressing stress and the problems it causes, faculty members are better able to achieve their professional and personal aspirations.
The program’s ultimate goal is to contribute to University faculty members’ professional success and personal well-being.
The most commonly reported challenges for faculty members include:
- Family strains
- Workplace relationship problems
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Difficulties with students
- Work-life imbalance
A crucial element to the program’s approach is to identify problems early so they can be resolved quickly, thus preventing the development of more serious impairments.
The first step in solving problems is deciding to address them and seek solutions.
The program offers free consultations for Northwestern faculty members to identify appropriate resources for personal and professional concerns. Resources may be offered over the phone, or the faculty member can meet with the director for further discussion.
Possible resources include:
- Free, short-term counseling in a variety of areas through the Northwestern Employee Assistance Program
- Referral for mental health or substance abuse services
- Specialized evaluation
- Consultation with the Office of Human Resources
- Assistance through Northwestern’s Office of Work/Life and Family Resources
- Executive coaching
Faculty members can contact the program by calling the director at 312-695-2323.
The program’s director is Richard Carroll, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and has extensive experience in working with university faculty.
In addition to providing free, personal consultation, the Faculty Wellness Program also offers workshops open to all faculty. Sign-up information will be emailed to all faculty prior to the workshops. Workshops currently planned for 2019-20 include:
- Managing Stress and Preventing Faculty Burnout
- November 12, 2019, in Evanston
- November 19, 2019, in Chicago
- Managing Stress as a Caregiver
- Winter/Spring dates TBA