Mental Health Has Long Been a Challenge for Grad Students. COVID-19 Has Made It Harder.

September 11, 2020
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was increasing evidence that graduate students were experiencing mental health issues. With higher rates of anxiety and depression than the general population, grad students may struggle with work-life balance, “imposter syndrome,” harassment, and discrimination. Now, many are facing fewer job opportunities and major workplace changes due to the pandemic. Students of color encounter additional obstacles that may increase their risk. All these challenges led one student with mental health issues to create PhD Balance, an online place where grad students can share openly about their difficulties. At universities, the transition to telehealth may make it easier to access counseling. “I’m wondering if this opens up a whole new range of possibilities,” said Tania Czarnecki, executive director of counseling at Drexel University’s Office of Counseling and Health Services. “Before, it was a challenge for many [students] to make the time to go to the counseling center amidst having to be in lab or class."

Spark Extra! Learn more about college and university suicide prevention.