We Need to Improve PhD Students’ Mental Wellbeing

  1. The prevalence of mental health problems is higher in PhD students than in the highly educated general population, highly educated employees, and higher education students.
  2. Work and organizational context are significant predictors of PhD students’ mental health.

Personal Challenges

Organizational Challenges

There is not a single organization where somebody will fit in seamlessly from day one. It will always require some time to adapt to new standards and processes. And an organization is not a constant. Once you have adapted to an organization, its characteristics will change again, compelling you to recalibrate. The same counts for the organizational life of PhD students. However, there’s one aspect that makes their organizational life a huge challenge and that is their dependency on their supervisor.

Financial Challenges

Obtaining a PhD is a great investment in a physical asset that you will keep for the rest of your life; your mind. Though, obtaining a PhD is far from free. It requires significant financial investment and most of those who embark on one don’t have deep pockets. Hence, they have to rely on external funding to support themselves while studying.

Where is the mental health support for PhD students/candidates?

If you read the above challenges PhD students struggle with, you must believe that there is a wide range of mental health support to keep them on track, right? In the end, they are often the ones coming up with great innovations, boosting our world to the next level. There must be a great support program at any university to back the academics our society relies upon so much. No, there isn’t. It is even quite difficult to find these support organizations within faculties and universities.

How to let PhDs prosper again?

All the innovation and wellbeing we have in our lives is largely due to the group of academics that preceded the current PhD students. We rely so much on this group in our society. It is time to treat them accordingly. Firstly, we at Amplio are advocating for a radical change in the mental health support networks of faculties, companies, and universities to set PhD students up for success. Focussing on tapping into their potential through care and attentiveness instead of competition. This can be done among others through:

  • Providing more financial and job security
  • Educational support ensuring and adequate work-life balance
  • Providing all the PhD students with a clear career plan
  • Administrative support and resources, enabling them to focus on doing their best research work
  • Ensure the delivery of the best quality research and graduate while enjoying their academic life fully?
  • Stop feeling lonely and let the environment share in the research journey they’ve embarked on?
  • Manage the personal, organization and financial challenges inherent to the PhD process?

You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Coaches at Amplio have guided tons of PhD students in their academic journey. Want to know how that plays out for your particular situation? Let’s Chat!

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Jasper @Amplio Coaching

Jasper @Amplio Coaching

Jasper is the founder of Amplio Coaching. He believes that every single person has the potential to overcome any challenge in life and to be happy.