Breaking the silence: Mental illness | Stigmas | Academia

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Having a mental illness is not a taboo topic in our society anymore. But, why does it still feel like it is, when it comes to Academia? There is more than one answer to this: the power of stigmas is one and academic work culture is another. Both the study and work environment in Academia is fueled by three words: “publish or perish”.

There is no room for mental health problems, whilst the competition and pressure to publish is what threatens our wellbeing, as it often triggers common, yet sometimes severe symptoms of mental illnesses, which are not taken seriously enough. Not really what we can call a sustainable or encouraging environment, especially for early career researchers such as Doctoral Students. Globally, PhD students along with master’s students are six times more at risk for developing depression and anxiety disorders as opposed to the general public. Possibly the numbers of those who suffer from mental health problems are a lot higher, when including those who have a pre-existing condition. Regardless of an individual’s mental health history, all those affected have one thing in common: support, or the lack thereof, to be exact – one of the reasons why only a fraction seeks help. That has to be changed! But, what can each of us do? In order to answer that question, it is essential to understand how living and working looks like when mental illness is your constant companion. You can start by listening to the personal experience of a PhD Student.
Period27 Feb 2020
Held atRoyal Netherlands Inst Sea Res, Utrecht University, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionLocal