Mental Illness in the Academy

Last month The Guardian published a couple of pieces on mental illness in academia. The first was a blog post on the “culture of acceptance” of mental health issues in academia (in which “acceptance” is meant to be understood as something like “neglect”). A follow-up article remarked on a study of 14,000 university employees that showed “growing stress levels among academics prompted by heavy workloads, a long hours culture and conflicting management demands. Academics experience higher stress than those in the wider population, the survey revealed.”

Predictably, there was some backlash to this report. Comments on the article include digs like: “There are rather a lot of moaners in educational circles” and “I spent a number of years at university – to the Post-Doc level and then on as a lecturer for four years. It struck me as pretty easy going compared to the life of my father, who was a miner.” Now The Guardian has a new article responding to charges that concern with mental illness in academia is just the whining of the privileged. The publication has also launched a survey on the topic, the results of which will be posted in the future on The Guardian Higher Education Network.  (via Ana Barandalla)

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