Mental health in academia
Working in research can be compared to doing competitive sports.* As with any muscle that is exercised a lot, working with the mind can exhaust and strain it. Like professional athletes, scientists in academia should give their mind the time and resources to stay fit and healthy. The opposite is often the case.
Like a professional athlete you need to take care of your body and mind. MCQST wants to support you in this endeavor. On this page you can find some suggestions for first steps as well as workshops focused on mental heatlh. .
Researchers work and live in an environment that puts a strain on mental health: overwhelming long working hours, high pressure, little appreciation, and often little job security. On top of these, having to relocate for jobs every few years makes it complicated to uphold a social network that can support them in personal and professional crises.
The first step after recognizing that you are struggling with mental health issues can be to talk to somebody about it. Below you can find a summary of suggestions on where to get help and who to contact.
Please feel free to contact the diversity coordinator Barbara.Tautz[at]physik.uni-muenchen.de, if you need further assistance in finding help.
Support offered by MCQST institutions
Students at Munich Universities
If you are facing mental health problems as a student or PhD candidate enrolled at one of the Munich universities, you can turn to:
Studentenwerk counseling service
- Psychotherapeutic and Psychosocial Advisory Service
- Advisory Service "Sexual Abuse, Discrimination and Violence against Women and Men"
Furthermore, the chaplaincies offer counseling services by trained psychologists:
For employees and scholarship holders
If you have a working contract with LMU and seek counselling, check the LMU Serviceportal for the key word: “Psychosoziale Beratung”. You will find contacts to the psychological and social counselling service of LMU.
Furthermore, the LMU Graduate Center offers coachings for PhD students.
Check out various coaching and training opportunities at TUM.
MPQ offers anonymous, psychological counseling via phone or video chat for MPQ employees and scholarship holders in cooperation with the Fürstenberg Insitute. More information can be found in the intranet under the key word EMAP (EMAP = Employee and Manager Assistance Program).
Furthermore, MPQ cooperates with Shadi Nouyan, an external psychological counselor at Visions Management. You can book appointments with her financed by MPQ via the intranet.
You can always contact your General Practicioner (Hausarzt) if you have questions concerning mental health. They can support you by giving you a preliminary assessment of your situation and familiarizing you with how to get in contact with therapists.
Helplines in acute crisis
Telefonseelsorge and psychiatrischer Krisendienst offer help over the phone in acute crises or difficult life situations.
Phone: 0800 / 111 0 111 or 0800 / 1110222
For a summary of comparable services in other languages please see here.
Service for acute psychiatric crisis
Phone: 0180 / 655 3000
Research on mental health in academia
If you would like to find out more on mental health issues, here we put together a selection of insightful articles.
- An overview and articles concerning different aspects of mental health in academia
Science careers and mental health collection on Nature.
- On some of the reasons behind high stress levels.
‘I’ll work on it over the weekend’: high workload and other pressures faced by early-career researchers.
- If you are struggling with mental health related issues you are not alone. In this Nature article, five researchers share their stories and personal approaches to navigate and change the system.
Feeling overwhelmed by academia? You are not alone.
- Mental health in academia is topic of the week at a sold-out UK meeting.
*This analogy was mentioned by Dr. Wendy Marie Ingram in her talk on mental health in academia during the "I, Scientist" conference, Berlin, 20 September 2019. Check out Dr. Ingram's website: www.wendymarieingram.com.