Link Round-Up: Life as an Anxious Scientist, Survey on Faculty Mental Health Culture, Human Cost of Postdoctoral Research, and More

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“Me too”: Mental Health and Disclosure as an Early Career Researcher (Institute of Mental Health – University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Blog)

In this blog researcher Emma Nielsen talks about the power of disclosing one’s mental illness beyond the polite reference to it in the past tense. She weighs in on the risks it comes with, as well as the role it plays in changing the culture in academia towards people with mental health struggles.

The Human Cost of the Pressures of Postdoctoral Research (The Guardian)

This post discusses the vulnerable position of postdoctoral researchers and the mental health risks they encounter. “Most work on mental health issues in universities tends to focus on undergraduate or postgraduate students. Yet despite forming the backbone of most academic research, postdocs are often completely missing from this research. That being said, there is some evidence that in comparison to other occupational groups, the overall mental health of those working in academic is relatively poor – in particular, levels of depression and anxiety tend to be inflated.”

Crash and Burn (out): 5 Stages of Postdoctoral Collapse (University Affairs – Canada)

Post-doc Sabrina Zeddies discusses the five stages of how she got to feeling burned out – an experience she describes as being insidious, that caught her by surprise despite having an intellectual understanding of the issue.

Life as an Anxious Scientist (Dynamic Ecology Blog)

Researcher Margaret Kosmala writes about how anxiety manifests itself in the life of a high functioning scientist. She writes “What does anxiety mean for me now? It means that, in the span of 30 seconds, I can go from being worried that a grant won’t get funded (how will I pay my lab folks?) to worrying that it will get funded (what if we can’t do everything we thought we could?) It means that I will be so nervous about teaching that I lose weight during the semester (One of my main anxiety symptoms is nausea). It means that I feel the need to obsessively check data before submitting a manuscript. It means that, as soon as I started writing this post, I lost my appetite”. She also draws our attention to the specific strategies she practices to manage her anxiety on a daily basis, and the acceptance she has come to, about the presence of anxiety in her life.

Portrait of Faculty Mental Health (Inside Higher Education)

This article summarizes the findings of the first-ever cross-institutional survey of its kind that sheds light on stigma, disclosure of mental illness and institutional lack of support. The summary makes an important point about sources of support following a disclosure; “Following disclosure, respondents said, their strongest support came from spouses and significant others. Colleagues and chairs were less often described as supportive. Professional organizations, on-campus mental health services, staff members and supervisors were seen as least supportive.”

 

 

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