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« Grad school toolkit - part 1: dissertations | Main | Making the first day a great day (redux) »

08/21/2017

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Original Anonymous Reader

Looking forward to hearing the community's thoughts on this- perhaps once the beginning of the semester madness has died down? :)

Amanda

I hate to be a downer, but what I have seen in my experience suggests that these type of reforms are not soon in coming. I think a lot of people still think mental illness is an excuse, alas.

Marcus Arvan

Amanda: maybe so - but every movement has to begin somewhere. The more of us who choose to speak up and draw attention to these issues, the better the chance may be that things (slowly) begin to change.

Original Anonymous Reader

Right, I think it will be one department at a time. My former department definitely has a number of people interested in this- I'm hopeful that my talk will help spark change in that department. And change will be slightly more likely to take place if I can present them with an intelligent draft of guidelines for them to mull over :) I also think I can present the issue in a way that the department can see that it is in its own best interest to make these changes. The placement record of my former department is not that great in recent years- obviously a lot of that has to do with the job market crash. But I think that one way to improve a department's placement record is to have a more open environment with respect to mental health awareness :) For example, in my own case, I was by no means a rockstar, but I think I was considered by faculty to be one of the grad students who had a decent shot at being able to find a job somewhere. Then depression helped take me out of the game. Now I am listed on the department's placement record as someone who did not seek a position in academia after graduation. Whereas, perhaps with a better environment in place in the department [I am in no ways BLAMING the department, my own advisers were incredibly supportive], I might now be listed in the department's placement record as someone who got a job in academia. This isn't the only way that depression can affect a department's placement record, but it is one way. And I think it is plausible to think that if we can improve the mental health awareness environment in a department, we can decrease the negative tolls that mental diseases can have on a department's placement record :)

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