Structures under stress: How we can collectively rebuild our academic systems to address mental health

29 May 2024 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM UTC | Online
Structures under stress: How we can collectively rebuild our academic systems to address mental health

In academia, the prevalence of mental health symptoms is a growing concern. There is a notable incidence of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and burnout, among early career researchers, and evidence suggests that senior academics also experience the burden of mental health challenges. This trend is alarming for both the research community and policymakers alike. The pressing question arises: what factors contribute to this mental health burden in academia?

Importantly, it is not only over to individual researchers to take care of their mental health. In this webinar the discussion will revolve around how academic communities can work together to rebuild the academic structures creating the conditions for workaholism and burnout. To this end, two speakers have been invited, Joeri K. Tijdink, psychiatrist from the Amsterdam UMC and the Young Academy from the Netherlands and Gábor Kismihók (FYAE), chair of the Researcher Mental Health Observatory COST Action, to talk about effecting the structural changes that are necessary.

Joeri Tijdink will focus on the following questions: What are the potential underlying causes? Is it primarily attributable to individual researchers, or does the research environment play a significant role? Additionally, how do the working conditions for researchers and the broader scientific ecosystem, including recognition and rewards, factor into this complex equation? These questions are explored, to seek and foster a comprehensive dialogue surrounding mental health in academia and find ways to foster a supportive and healthy academia.

Gábor Kismihók will talk about how small, bottom-up initiatives can make a change when it comes to improving the poor mental wellbeing situation in academia. These initiatives include networking activities, teaching and learning activities, Artificial Intelligence based learning recommendations for better wellbeing and academic career management skills, and lobbying for better wellbeing policies.

A Q&A session will be held at the end of the webinar where your opinions on the topic will be heard.


Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

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