May 16, 2022

“Well, that was easy.” – No postgrad, ever.

Dr. Ash Brockwell
Alisha Kilich
There exists a mental health crisis across Higher Education

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Alisha Kilich, Head of Student Support

Choosing a postgraduate degree is an exciting time, you’re developing a sense of academic identity, career progression and personal development — but what does that mean for your mental health and wellbeing?

As Head of Student Support at LIS, I believe a focus on Post Graduate mental health is absolutely necessary. As you advance in your professional life, it’s important to practice and prioritise self care, a sense of self value, and have a good amount of time to seek support for your mental health.

Of course the reality of this is difficult. As I’m sure those who have studied post graduate courses will tell you there comes the sleepless nights, a sense of uncertainty and isolation and high levels of anxiety — this needs to be talked about. Many people go on to their careers and have poor work/life balance and stress levels are constantly high. Studying as a postgraduate student is the perfect time to start or continue a journey of having the confidence to prioritise and look after your health — and I believe universities should also be an advocate for this and implement meaningful support.

Some of the ways I believe this can be down include:

(1) Being part of a strong sense of community.

It’s always an amazing feeling when feeling connected and valued. We want you to enjoy student life and want an environment where students feel inspired. Often masters students tend to be quite isolated and therefore having a strong sense of community can be so motivating, especially on the tougher days!

(2) Dedicated support to your mental health and wellbeing.

It’s absolutely vital that students can access support without huge waiting times and have a safe and confidential space to speak. Whether it’s the first time you’re speaking about your mental health or whether you want continued support, I hugely encourage students to not deal with anything alone. I know it’s not always easy reaching out but when we don’t feel like talking, it’s probably the best time to be talking!

(3) Trusting relationship between faculty and students.

Supervision and independent research can be tough to tackle, having open dialogues with supervisors about the mental challenges of this is important. Your supervisors were once students and sharing these experiences are important. Empathy and kindness in my opinion is also a massive part of what it means to be an educator.

I’m excited to meet our first master’s cohort and I welcome you to contact me to speak further about your mental health & wellbeing —

“Well that was easy.” – No postgrad ever

Postgraduate students are six times more likely to experience anxiety and depression than the general population.

Oftentimes postgrads can experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, or other symptoms of anxiety and depression. And with undergraduate wellbeing usually in the limelight, many postgraduate students feel a significant sense of stigma around their mental health.

This anonymous project — “Well that was easy.” – No postgrad ever — will share the lived experiences and advice of current and former postgrad students from across the globe. We want to find out more about current and former postgrad’s experiences of mental health, and collate advice for incoming and prospective students. By answering one or both of the questions via this form you’ll help us inch towards stigma-free awareness of postgrad mental health. Let’s get talking.

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March 20th 2023

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