In the midst of the Coronavirus lockdown of 2020, the first online seminar from the newly formed Mental Health Working Group of the Leibniz PhD Network was held online. Many people had already been under some form of quarantine for a few weeks, and it was clear that many junior researchers have been struggling with social isolation, confinement and uncertainty under the pandemic.
Recently, it has become more and more evident that there is an ongoing mental health crisis in academia. For example, a recent survey of 50,000 graduate students in the UK showed that 86% reported significant levels of anxiety. The current pandemic is compounding existing issues.
The aim of the online seminar was to:
- Raise awareness about potential stressors triggered during the pandemic in the academic community.
- Provide tools and strategies to help researchers cope with anxiety, motivational issues, depression and other potential stressors related to working in academia under the current pandemic.
In the online seminar, we were fortunate to have an amazing and international line-up of guest speakers share their perspectives:
- Dr. Desiree Dickerson (Academic Mental Health & Well-Being Consultant)
Topic: Mental health and well-being resources during COVID-19 pandemic.
- Dr. Hendrik Huthoff (Scientific Manager of the Jena School for Microbial Communication)
Topic: The day after the COVID-19 pandemic in academia. How could COVID19 affect doctoral programmes? https://www.sciencemag.org/author/hendrik-huthoff
- Dr. Nicola Byrom (Lecturer in psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neurosciences at King’s College London)
Topic: Managing anxieties and low mood during social isolation.
- Moderator: Dr. Elliot Brown (Neuroscientist, Scientific Advisor and Mental Health Advocate at Charité Hospital & Health Care)
Here is a recording of the online seminar which is available at anytime online:(more…)