Mental Health in Academia: Get online to support wellbeing of graduate students (eLife)

February 10, 2020
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Mental health issues are a serious problem in academia, especially among graduate students where around 25โ€“ 40% face mental health concerns (Evans et al., 2018; Levecque et al., 2017; Barreira et al., 2018). Moreover, about half of those students will likely not receive treatment (SAMHSA, 2019). These figures highlight the pressing need for the academic community to both offer more support for graduate students struggling with their mental health and remove the barriers that prevent those students from getting help where it already exists.

We are two PhD students at universities in the United States. We both also volunteer with PhD Balance, an online community dedi- cated to sharing resources and stories to empower graduate students professionally and personally. Susanna founded PhD Balance in 2018 (originally called "The PhDepression") to find other students managing mental illness while in graduate school. Liesl joined after her own mental health experiences lead her to reach out for the resources and support provided by groups like PhD Balance. At the time of writing, the PhD Balance community includes over 36,000 followers, across Twitter and Instagram, from six continents, and these numbers continue to grow.

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