Hi PhD pals! I need your help. I have been thinking for a little while now about how comforting, inspiring and amazing it has been to hear all of your stories. It have been so overwhelmed by the number of you who have wanted to share your stories with me and I have particularly touched by those of you who contacted me to say that, through hearing about my own experiences, you have been able to talk about your own mental health. I think that we are building a massively supportive online and I would really like to continue that.
I want your stories about academia and mental health. I think it would be really great to create a space where we can share our own experiences of mental health issues in academia and read those of others. I never cease to be surprised by the similarities between the stories that are shared with me and my own. Hearing about other students’ experiences can make us feel far less alone and help give us confidence that it is possible to do a PhD with mental health issues, given the right support. Obviously this will work much better if lots of you get involved, but I would be totally overjoyed with like 10 submissions.
Please please please send me your stories. I’m not looking for massive essays here (and goodness knows we’re all good at churning those out) but just little snippets of 200 words or so sharing your experiences of mental health issues as a PhD student or academic. Next time you are at your computer and your attention is wandering, just write me a little something instead of trawling through Buzzfeed again. All of the stories will be anonymous so you don’t have to worry about that. It would be particularly good to hear from people who have dealt with mental health issues and gone on to complete their PhDs but I’m not choosy. I’d be delighted to hear from anyone who wants to share.
I don’t have mental health issues. Can I still come to the party? You can! You can help out by sharing and retweeting this post, encouraging others to share their stories and reading them when I post them. You can also get involved by sending me a picture of your feet so I can do something lame and cheesey about standing in solidarity or something. You can send a feet picture along with your story as well if you like!
(Something a bit like this. Apologies for the slippers and jazzy leggings combo. I just got in from yoga and I’m lazy.)
Well, what are you waiting for? Get writing! You can send your stories (and pictures of your feet) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to read them!