It is widely known that completing a PhD can be a very stressful but rewarding endeavour. As Lecturer Nadine Muller stated in a recent article for The Guardian, it is difficult to divide between the personal and professional when you are ‘doing what you love:‘This means that doctoral and early-career scholars are seldom trained in how to firmly draw that line and value themselves beyond their work’. Many students who complete their PhD have a mental health condition, others experience poor wellbeing at different times during this time frame. The focus of the session aims to creating a calm, caring, and supportive environment to reflect on the demands of undertaking doctoral studies. The approach will be arts-based and will encourage creative engagement with materials. Professional input will address possible common periods where challenges can arise, such as post upgrade, as well as exploring coping strategies, and faculty resources available. A key element of the day will be to nurture on-going peer support, utilizing the existing model of peer-support promoted by Student Minds mental health charity, aiming to provide a learning atmosphere that helps to reduce the isolation of doctoral studies.
Who is the day for?
The session is for new, upgrading or on-going PhD students. It will be open to those who both have a mental health diagnosis and those without. We are looking to work with a group limited to 20-30 in order to assure that the session can be more ‘bespoke’ and attend to the participant’s needs.