Welcome PhD's, post-grads, and future graduate students. Welcome humans of Academia and the people who love them!

We are a collaborative community talking about mental health in graduate school. You are not alone!

We support creative, critical and independent thinkers struggling with mental health, through honest stories from fellow PhDs and well-being tips, tools and services.

We show the faces of academics with mental health issues – smiling, successful, normal faces – to increase visibility and awareness of the people struggling.


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The mental health epidemic in Higher Education reduces productivity and creativity in research, slowing progress and weakening the community.

Almost half of PhD’s and PhD students struggle to maintain their mental health (e.g see Pain, 2018).

This 2018 Nature Biotechnology survey, as reported here in Science Magazine found:
41% of PhD candidates showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety
39% showed symptoms of moderate to severe depression.

This is more than six times the prevalence found in studies of the general population.
This invisible population suffers from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. 


Our Beginning

@Ph_D_Epression 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.

I founded The PhDepression in March 2018 to help increase visibility of those who have struggled with mental health issues, from students to postdocs, future PhDs to grads who have had their degrees for years. So many of us are dealing with these types of problems, and we can only 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.


Our Mission


You can be a productive PhD student, complete your PhD AND struggle with your mental health.  Our mission is to provide a diverse toolkit for you to draw from, that includes honest stories and resources with advice about strategies, yoga, mindfulness and more .

We want to show that PhDs dealing with anxiety, depression or other mental health issues are NOT less capable, are NOT less intelligent, are NOT less creative, are NOT failures.  You might just need more support and a different set of tools.

By sharing stories on Instagram, Twitter and on our blog of PhDs and future PhDs overcoming mental health issues, we want to build a diverse, international community that accepts emotional well-being as a component of health and performance.  Through our 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.

Feelings of isolation and fear of stigma prevent people from seeking help. We need to empower PhDs to deal with their struggles by talking openly about  mental health issues within the graduate community and the structural elements that underpin them - it's not just you!


"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare".

Audre Lorde




Support the conversation...

Do you have a story you are happy to share?  #tellyourstory - we are on the hunt for personal experiences of mental heath issues in academia, however that looked for you.  

Learn More →

Consider donating!

Eager to support us but don't want to write/edit etc?  Consider donating! The website, social media content and projects are all put together and maintained by our wonderful team of volunteers and other great humans donating their time to keep these valuable mental health conversations going.  The website costs money to run, so we are running a GoFundMe campaign to keep this site live and updated and to support future projects.  THANK YOU!