The PhDepression LLC founder Susanna Harris explains her passion for this project: "When the Nature Biotech article showed nearly 40% of graduate students struggle with anxiety or depression, I felt a sense of belonging. A year before, I was in a deep depression, and this paper made me feel less alone. But I couldn't name 5, let alone 50, students in my cohort that might be struggling. There was a disparity between the public faces in our universities and the underlying stories.
The PhDepression LLC aims to increase visibility of those who have struggled with mental health issues, from students to postdocs, future PhDs to those who have long-since graduated. Many of us deal with these problems, and we must support our community by breaking the stigma around mental illness. Academia would be a stronger, kinder place if we could talk about these things openly and get the help we need".
Meet the rest of the team here!
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
— Helen Keller, author, political activist, and lecturer
You can be a productive Academic, work on and complete a graduate degree, AND struggle with your mental health. Our mission at The PhDepression LLC is to provide honest stories from people like you and curate resources with advice about strategies, yoga, mindfulness and more.
We want to show that humans in Higher Education dealing with mental health issues are NOT less capable, are NOT less intelligent, are NOT less creative, are NOT failures. You might just need support and a different set of tools.
By sharing stories (Instagram, Twitter) of Academics overcoming mental health issues, we are building a diverse, international community that believes emotional well-being is a component of health and performance. Through social media and our resources blog we share stories, research, tips and tools, and services. Some of our resource providers include mental health professionals with advice about mindfulness, mediation and yoga for reducing anxiety and stress. #visibilitymatters.
Our vision? We want to create a world in which academics can seek out help for their mental health just as easily as they do for their physical health and educational growth. Emotional well-being should be part of being a productive member of Academia.
Fear of stigma and isolation prevent people from seeking help. We aim to empower the academic community to talk openly about mental health issues and the structural elements that underpin them - it's not just you!