Mental health: Scholar Minds
Please note: The text below on “Scholar Minds” can be found on the website of our partner institution, the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN). Doctoral candidates from the M&B, ECN, BCCN, and MedNeuro programs are involved in this initiative.
You will find the text below and much more information on lectures, publications and surveys, how to get support, and where to find help here: https://www.ecn-berlin.de/mental-health/scholar-minds-184.html
Scholar Minds is a non-profit initiative created by PhD students at Charite - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, which aims to empower PhD students to face the mental health crisis in academia.
Pursuing a PhD is an adventure: Ideally, students get to follow their personal interests and gain profound knowledge of their field. However, this time can also be emotionally and physically demanding. For example, a study in US-American grad students reports high levels of stress and burn-out, fear of failure, long and unpredictable working hours, and financial strain (Boren, 2013). This is also true for PhD students in Germany. According to a recent survey of the Max Planck PhDnet, 53% of the students surveyed suffered from at least one of the following symptoms: depression, burnout, eating disorder, chronic fatigue, sleeplessness, and migraines. More than half of this group thought that these symptoms were directly related to their position as a PhD.
We are a group of PhD students at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin who self-organized in this initiative trying to provide the Berlin neuroscience community with some relief.
Through sharing resources, surveying the status quo, and organizing mental health events, we hope to promote awareness, destigmatize mental health struggles, and empower PhD students!
Some steps can be taken before things get ugly. According to the Helmholtz Juniors survey, job satisfaction and good supervision are the most important factors regarding PhD student well-being. What can you do to increase those on your own PhD journey?
If you are active in mental health or want to get involved, please contact us!