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Mental Health for Academics

I am committed to improving mental health to people in academia. There are a few important ways that I have gone about this:

  • Awareness of issues academics face

  • Creating a support network and safe space

  • Compiling resources

  • Making lasting changes to the community

I have spoken about mental health in physics to a variety of communities including the September 2020 LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA Collaboration Meeting, APS March Meeting FECS Session 2020 (talk linked below); the Society of Women in Physics at University of Mississippi 2018; 88th LHCb Week at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, 2018; Universitat de València, València, Spain 2018; physics graduate students, Syracuse University 2017; APS March Meeting FGSA Session 2017; and a variety of Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. I can be invited to give a talk tailored to students or staff and faculty as needed by reaching out to me via email. 

I have written about different mental health experiences while being an academic:

  1. Scientists Don’t Succeed in a Vacuum. Why Expect This of Graduate Students? APSNews, The Back Page. (October 2022) Volume 31, Number 9.

  2. My Queer Imposter Syndrome.Voices of Academia. (November 2020)

  3. Supportive Groups Are Vital for Mental Health. Physics Magazine. (August 4, 2020) Physics 13, 93

  4. Covert Care: The Cycle of Mental Health and Conference Fatigue. oSTEM Blog. (April 2019).

  5. It’s time for physicists to talk about mental health Physics Today. (May 2017) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/PT.6.3.20170531a

Also quoted in:

  1. How to be Human in Physics by Sarah Charley. Symmetry Magazine. (July 2021)

  2. Minding Mental Wellness by Maureen Rouhi. College of Sciences, Georgia Tech (2019)

Currently, I am the moderator of the Mental Health in Physics support networking which runs on Slack to join either, please send me an email with a short description of what you hope to get out of the space and I will add you.

This is a social group peer-run (no mental health professionals) for those who identify as neurodivergent, having a mental illness, or dealing with mental health. This group is for undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, faculty, and non-academics in physics and physics adjacent fields to:

 

  • Share resources

  • Ask for advice on difficult situations

  • Discuss articles and literature

  • Find representation and support

  • Plan meet-ups at conferences and workshops

We have a Slack channel! Please email me to be added!
 

Mental Health in Physics Support Group

Mental Health Challenges for Early Career Phycisists

This talk was for the 2020 American Physical Society March Meeting invited session G38. Topics in Diversity, Wellness, and Inclusion for Early-Career Scientists, organized by the Forum of Early Career Scientists

Abstract: In the past few years, more studies about poor mental health in academia have been conducted and found that PhD students are almost 3 times as likely to develop mental health problems than then general population. While studies have not been conducted yet on postdoctoral researchers, anecdotal evidence has shown similar concern about mental health on blogs such as Chronically Academic, and others. Topics often linked with poor mental health are work-life balance, job demands, long work hours, supervisor’s leadership, and financial concerns. Many of these these stressors are often exacerbated for those with an underrepresented identity with the addition of factors such as stereotype threat, imposter syndrome, or microaggressions. I will discuss the challenges that lead to poor mental health for early career physicists as well as some possible solutions that can be implemented by individuals and the community.

Mental Health Resources

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