Changing the Culture: University, Faculty and Graduate Student Responsibility to Prioritize Student Mental Health

Mental health is important for success in higher education, yet many graduate students struggle with the maintenance of their well-being. An eye-opening 2018 study shows that graduate students are six times more likely to experience anxiety and depression than the general population. This study also noted gender disparities with over 55 percent of transgender graduate students reporting experiences with anxiety and depression compared to approximately 42 percent of women and about 34 percent of men. The pressure from publishing, performing academically and navigating the graduate degree process in often antagonistic environments can interact to adversely affect graduate students’ mental health. Additionally, students of color face added challenges in higher education including racism and microaggressions that can negatively affect their mental health.

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