Mental Health of early career researchers is alarming. Several recent studies reported that PhD candidates are at a high risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and burn-out. Importantly, Evens (2018) found that PhD students are 6 times more likely to develop mental health disorders in comparison with other highly educated individuals working outside of academia. Finally, Satinsky et al. 2021 showed that despite the growing evidence of mental health dangers for academics, little attention has been given to the ways to improve it and urged for more practical solutions.
In the light of these findings, the aim of this intervention is 1) to raise mental health awareness among academics 2) reduce the risks of developing mental disorders and finally 3) propose a practical solutions on how researchers can take care of their mental health, despite the challenging working environment. In particular, in this 1-hour seminar, studies on mental health and wellbeing in academia will be presented explaining the causes and prevalence of mental distress, followed by practical advice on how to detect and prevent mental health risks at the early stages and how to enhance wellbeing and life satisfaction on a daily basis.
Finally, in line with numerous studies indicating that “happy” employees are more motivated, present better resilience to stress, and are more efficient at work, we believe that improving the mental health of PhD researchers will benefit them individually, but also contribute to creating better working environment and potentially result in better work/research effectiveness for academic institutions.