One of our organisers, @Capable_Kat, is doing the Great Manchester Run in support of Mind, the mental health charity.  The event is on 22nd May, and you can make a donation at Kat’s Virgin Money Giving page.  Kat is hoping to raise in excess of £2000 for Mind, and as an incentive, she has set herself a few bizarre challenges to encourage you in your generosity!  You have to visit the Virgin Money link to find out what these are, but we can guarantee that they are ridiculous enough for you to really, really want them to happen! In particular, if we can get Kat to turn up to May’s PubhD in a cape-and-underpants combo, we will be well chuffed!

This is a great charity for academics to support, given the prevalence of mental health concerns among our community.  The Universities in Manchester are generally very aware and understanding of these matters, and offer good pastoral care when it is sought out.  But resources are limited, and NHS services in particular are underfunded.  And then there are those who slip through the net.  Mental health problems can leave one feeling unmotivated, alone, and ashamed.  A large part of what Mind do is provide information and online resources to support people who are worried about their health, or just want to learn more about mental health problems.  Visiting their website is a step towards taking control.

Here are some recent articles on mental health in academia – people have started talking about it; let’s carry on the conversation.

There is a culture of acceptance around mental health issues in academia | The Guardian

Dark thoughts: why mental illness is on the rise in academia | The Guardian

Academia & Mental Health | Dr. Nadine Muller

Lighting dark: Fixing academia’s mental health problem | New Scientist

Academic life and mental illness is not a smooth ride but it can be done | Time To Change

Mental Health in Academia | Tenure, She Wrote

Academia and Mental Illness: A Preliminary List of Resources | The Professor Is In

There’s an awful cost to getting a PhD that no one talks about | Quartz

‘So what do you do?’ Early-Career Reflections by Victoria Stiles | History Lab Plus

Updated guidance to universities on student mental health | Universities UK

Rising numbers of stressed students seek help | BBC News


And here are some links to useful resources if you are looking for more information:

NHS Choices offers general advice on a number of common mental health topics, and there are links to services and the option to search for available help in your area.

As mentioned above, Mind offers factual and objective advice on mental health issues, and also provide support in te community.

SANE is another leading mental health charity, and can also offer advice an support.  They have a number of targeted campaigns on their website.  Their key aims are:

1. Reducing the impact of mental illness
2. Improving treatment and care by increasing knowledge about mental illness
3. Influencing policy and public attitudes by increasing understanding of mental illness

Also check out Rethink, who also offer advice and local support groups.


If you need help RIGHT NOW, there are a number of helplines that you can call:

Your local Mental Health Crisis Team (you can search for them on the NHS Choices site), or attend A&E or call 999 – A mental health crisis is serious and should be treated as such.  Rethink have produced a factsheet about the processes involved in managing a mental health crisis, which you can download here.

The Sanctuary offer 24-hour advice and support for Greater Manchester residents with mental health difficulties on 0300 003 7029.

Rethink Mental Illness 0300 5000 927 (Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm), offering support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Anxiety UK, charity providing support if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.  08444 775 774 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5.30pm).

Bipolar UK, a charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15-35.

Depression Alliance, charity for sufferers of depression. Has a network of self-help groups.

Mental Health Foundation provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Mind promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)

OCD Action, support for people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Includes information on treatment and online resources.  0845 390 6232 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

OCD UK, a charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.  0845 120 3778 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

No Panic, voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and OCD. Offers a course to help overcome your phobia/OCD. Includes a helpline.  0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am-10pm)

PAPYRUS, young suicide prevention society.  HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Mon-Fri,10am-5pm & 7-10pm. Weekends 2-5pm)

Samaritans, confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.  116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Sane, charity offering support and carrying out research into mental illness.  0845 767 8000 (daily, 6-11pm)

YoungMinds, information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.  Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm).


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