signposting a new article: Why are mental health problems elevated among graduate students?

I am linking to a new article by Dr Furaha Asani that should be of interest to supervisors. It concerns graduate student mental health and the experiences of marginalised people. Below is an excerpt from her article.

Click here to read the original article on Editage Insights.

The seminal article published in March, 2018 by Evans and colleagues showed evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education. Evans et al. (2018) surveyed over 2000 graduates, most of whom were PhD students and 40% of whom were in biological and physical sciences and engineering, to ascertain mental health trends within this population. 

The findings should be a wake-up call for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs): these graduates surveyed had mental illness six times more than that of the general population. While the study focused on anxiety and depression, because of the spectrum of mental illness, it cannot be taken for granted that graduates and academics at large do not suffer from other types of mental illness. Evans and colleagues also found anxiety and depression to be higher amongst female, transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals. 

Another study conducted in early 2019 by the Higher Education website Wonkhe also found that loneliness levels are elevated in ‘Black and Minority Ethnic’ students (and also in disabled students and international students). Both the Evans and Wonkhe studies further confirm that mental illness is often exacerbated by marginalization. It is therefore essential that the causes of the significant increase of mental illness within the academy are acknowledged so action can be taken to support graduates and academics.

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