CUWiP 2019: Mental health

D57a02ba9a9ecb65d11370e3abf4dddc?s=47 Abbie Stevens
January 19, 2019
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CUWiP 2019: Mental health

Workshop led by Dr. Marsha Carolan and Dr. Abbie Stevens at the APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics 2019 hosted at Michigan State University.

"Improving mental health and wellbeing practices"
Mental health can take many forms and people who work in high-stress environments are prone to experience mental health issues. Even worse, studies show that gender minorities experience mental health problems at higher rates. This workshop provides an opportunity to discuss mental wellbeing as it pertains to physicists and future researchers. It will be led by a trained therapist and an astronomy postdoc who advocates for the mental wellbeing of early career researchers.

D57a02ba9a9ecb65d11370e3abf4dddc?s=128

Abbie Stevens

January 19, 2019
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Transcript

  1. IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH and wellbeing practices Abbie Stevens Astronomy postdoc

    alstev@pa.msu.edu Marsha Carolan Prof, licensed therapist carolan@msu.edu CUWiP 2019 at MSU
  2. WHAT DOES “MENTAL WELLBEING” OR “MENTAL HEALTH” MEAN? ➤ Mental

    health: emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing ➤ How you see yourself, how you interact with others, etc. ➤ Mental health is important!! ➤ Mental illness, mental health problems: factors (situational, clinical/biological/chronic) that get in the way of your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing
  3. WHY SHOULD WE DISCUSS MENTAL WELLBEING? ➤ While individual mental

    wellbeing is very personal, a community has a responsibility for its ‘climate’ and towards its members ➤ We want you to be informed and prepared as you move forward in your education and career
  4. EXAMPLES OF MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS ➤ Depression ➤ Anxiety ➤

    Stress, work pressure ➤ Burnout ➤ ADHD, ADD ➤ Substance overuse ➤ Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ➤ Grief, loss ➤ Homesickness ➤ Seasonal Affective Disorder
  5. COMMON CAUSES OF DEPRESSION & ANXIETY IN GRAD SCHOOL ➤

    Impostor syndrome ➤ Advisor fit ➤ Family and relational problems ➤ Lack of social support ➤ Prior trauma triggered by heightened grad school/job pressures
  6. 1 in 4 will have some kind of mental illness

    in their lifetime. Mental Illnesses. 1 in 10 Source(s): Psychological Bulletin, The Harris Poll, Haris Interactive, Nielsen, “U.S. Smartphone Battle Heats up”, 2011 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, World Health Organization. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. 1 in 6 More common than grey cars 1 in 4 Just how common is 1 in 4? Just as common as iPhone® customers. 60 Million Americans are affected each year. More common than left-handed people How can we fix it? Talking. The more we talk, the more we’ll realize that these illnesses are not unique and that they are treatable. It’s how we’ll make it ok. A public survey showed most people thought mental illnesses were related to: THIS IS STIGMA. STRESS LACK OF WILLPOWER WEAKNESS 1 in 7 More common than people with tattoos
  7. Why is it hard to talk about mental and emotional

    problems/concerns?
  8. STUDIES SHOW ➤ Nature Biotechnology, March 2018 (covered by IHE)

    ➤ 39% scored in the moderate to severe depression range ➤ Compare with 6% of gen. pop. on same scale in same range ➤ Research Policy, May 2017 (covered by Physics Today & Science) ➤ 32% at risk of having/developing a mental illness, esp. depression ➤ 51% experience at least 2 symptoms of mental health problems, and this is twice as high as comparable non-grad- school pop. ➤ Gender minorities had significantly higher rates of problems than cis-men ➤ Work and organizational context (incl. satisfaction with mentorship/ advising) are significant predictors of PhD students’ mental health ➤ Also institutional studies at, e.g., UC Berkeley, U Arizona, U Amsterdam
  9. UNIVERSITY & COMMUNITY RESOURCES TO PROMOTE MENTAL WELLBEING

  10. What mental wellbeing resources do you know of at your

    college/university?
  11. RESOURCES ➤ Student counseling center at campus health clinic: at-risk/crisis,

    getting started with therapy/counseling ➤ Depending on size/funding, you might be referred to an off- campus long-term therapist after only a few meetings. This is ok! They want you to access the help you need, within your means, and within the reach/scope of the counseling center. ➤ Check website for links to 24/7 emergency services like hotlines, local domestic violence shelter, etc. ➤ Ask your GP for a referral to a therapist who will accept your university health insurance ➤ Search the internet for sliding-scale/sliding-fee/pay-what-you-can counseling in your area ➤ Talk with peers, trusted colleague, and/or mentor (in your department or elsewhere)
  12. COPING TOOLS

  13. What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

  14. MY WELLBEING CHECKLIST FROM MY PHD

  15. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING? ➤ Drink enough

    water daily ➤ Make getting a full night of sleep every night a priority (8-9 hours) ➤ Taking breaks at work to walk around the arboretum or building ➤ Exercise regularly (yoga, pilates, jogging, fitness classes, etc.) ➤ Have an exercise buddy! ➤ Check for free weekly fitness classes through grad and/or athletics program ➤ Try not to rely on caffeine and sugar to get your energy, since you’ll crash soon after ➤ Maintain your gut health with probiotics (someone’s therapist recommended this one for them; check with your doc) ➤ Get a massage every few months as your budget allows; check if health insurance will cover some cost if “prescribed” by your GP
  16. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING? ➤ Enforce regular

    working hours. More than 50 hours per week is unsustainable and has diminishing (or even negative) returns ➤ Connect with colleagues (don’t suffer in silence) ➤ Spend regular time doing hobbies outside of work ➤ Cooking with others, gardening, team sports, artistic pursuits ➤ Spend time with loved ones (family, friends, significant other, etc.) ➤ Daily meditation (with an app like Headspace or Calm) ➤ Read a book for fun! Abbie likes Bill Bryson and Terry Pratchett ➤ Take real vacations. Turn on your email auto-responder and leave your laptop at home! ➤ Turn off notifications for work email (& social media apps) on phone ➤ Don’t check your results before going to bed (FOR REAL) ➤ See a counselor/therapist regularly, take prescribed medication
  17. WHAT HELPS YOU WHEN YOU’RE IN “PANIC MODE”? ➤ Get

    up from your desk and go for a walk, in a nature area on campus, doing loops around the building ➤ Take 10 slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths ➤ Have a (healthy) snack and a glass of water. Your brain can’t work when it’s out of fuel. There is time for this. ➤ Listen to a music playlist that helps you calm down and re-center yourself ➤ Use “stress ball”-type objects (like a fidget cube) to distract your mind and give it something else to focus on ➤ Break down Insurmountable Task into many bite-sized chunks. Write it all down, cross off as you do them. Use an analog list so that you actually cross it off and not just delete the item digitally ➤ “SOS” sessions in the Headspace meditation app
  18. How can you plan to take care of yourself before

    you become overwhelmed in grad school or your job?
  19. MENTAL WELLBEING, PRODUCTIVITY, AND TIME MANAGEMENT ➤ Often related in

    discussion and practice, but not the same ➤ Your schedule when teaching and taking classes will be different than your schedule when you’re doing research ➤ Work-life balance: working constantly will disrupt your personal life, negatively impact your mental health; not working enough will not lead to success in grad school or job ➤ Get regular feedback from advisor, check in with mentor ➤ Research does not have a linear input-output relation ➤ You will learn to manage your time; how enjoyable that process is is mostly up to you ➤ People at all career levels in academia can feel like they aren’t productive enough and struggle with mental wellbeing
  20. INTERNET RESOURCES

  21. LINKS TO RESOURCES ➤ Self-Care with Drs. Sarah, a podcast

    (see esp. ‘Meltdown’ episode) ➤ The Hilarious World of Depression, a podcast ➤ YouTube Yoga! "Yoga with Adriene", "Fightmaster Yoga" ➤ "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by Dr. D.D. Burns, a book on doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on yourself, recommended by therapists ➤ "The PTSD Workbook" by Dr. M.B. Williams and Dr. S. Pouijula, recommended by social workers and therapists ➤ "Living Well With Depression and Bipolar Disorder" by J. McManamy ➤ #PhDchat, #ECRchat, @chron_ac, @academic_chatter on Twitter ➤ "5 Things to Do (And Not to Do) to Support Someone with Depression" ➤ MakeItOK.org: conversation scripts, posters, stats
  22. ARTICLES WITH ADVICE AND PERSPECTIVES: GENERAL ➤ "I’d Whisper to

    My Student Self: You Are Not Alone" ➤ "Modest Advice for New Graduate Students" ➤ Wear Your Voice’s guide to destigmatizing mental illnesses ➤ "A Cartoonist’s Playful and Pragmatic Mental Health Guide" ➤ "81 Awesome Mental Health Resources When You Can’t Afford a Therapist" ➤ "14 Free and Low-Cost Mental Health Resources" ➤ “20 Warning Signs Your Professor’s Abusing You” ➤ Really good advice columns like Captain Awkward, Ask Polly, Ask A Manager
  23. ARTICLES WITH ADVICE AND PERSPECTIVES: DEPRESSION ➤ "We Cannot Continue

    to Overlook ‘High-Functioning’ Depression" ➤ "This Is What It’s Like To Live With High-Functioning Depression" ➤ "Letitia Wright Opens Up About Her Struggles With Depression, Advocates For Black Mental Health Awareness" ➤ "Learning That Depression Lies: My Mental Health Management Strategy" ➤ "A Day With: Depression"
  24. ARTICLES WITH ADVICE AND PERSPECTIVES: ANXIETY ➤ "A Day With:

    Social Anxiety"; "A Day With: Panic Attacks" ➤ "How I Learned to Make Friends with My Anxiety" ➤ "Anxiety Is An Invalid Excuse" ➤ "How To Talk Yourself Down From An Anxiety Spiral"
  25. ARTICLES WITH ADVICE AND PERSPECTIVES: ETC. ➤ Mental Health Awareness

    Week 2018 focusing on coping with stress ➤ "Why ADHD Is A Feminist Issue And What Happens When It’s Overlooked" ➤ "10 Signs That Made Me Realize I Was An Alcoholic" ➤ "Can Science Save Us From a Failed State of Burnout?" ➤ "Here’s What 'Millennial Burnout' is Like for 16 Different People" ➤ "Impostor Syndrome Isn’t The Problem — Toxic Workplaces Are" ➤ "How to Define Success for Yourself" ➤ "How Do You Keep Social Media From Destroying Your Mental Health?"
  26. SELF-CARE ➤ "23 Ways to Treat Yourself Without Buying or

    Eating Anything" ➤ "Is That Self-Care or Self-Sabotage?" ➤ @tinycarebot and @selfcare_tech on Twitter ➤ "What Nobody Tells You About Self-Care" ➤ "You Feel Like Shit" - an interactive flowchart (also useful in a crisis)
  27. QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT ➤ What could you personally do

    to promote mental wellbeing? ➤ What steps could your home department take to promote mental wellbeing?
  28. None
  29. STUDIES SHOW ➤ Nature Biotechnology, March 2018 (covered by IHE)

    ➤ 2,279 respondents, 90% PhD candidates, 38% bio & phys sciences ➤ 26 countries, 234 institutions ➤ 39% scored in the moderate to severe depression range ➤ Compare with 6% of gen. pop. on same scale in same range ➤ Gender minorities had significantly higher rates of problems than cis-men ➤ (Lack of) satisfaction with mentorship/advising is a predictor of mental health problems
  30. STUDIES SHOW ➤ Research Policy, May 2017 (covered by Physics

    Today & Science) ➤ 3,659 PhD candidates in Flanders Belgium, 66% STEM incl. biomedical ➤ 32% at risk of having/developing a mental illness, esp. depression ➤ 51% experience at least 2 symptoms of mental health problems, and this is twice as high as comparable non- grad-school pop. ➤ Odds of mental health problems significantly higher for women than men ➤ Work and organizational context are significant predictors of PhD students’ mental health
  31. ADVICE ON ADVISING ➤ “Good Advising” (written by a prof,

    for profs) ➤ What To Say when someone tells you about a mental health problem ➤ National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (your university may have institution access), productivity and wellbeing resources for researchers and mentors ➤ If you are a mandatory reporter (most are), inform your students that you are and strongly encourage them to go to the counseling center to get support without initiating a (sometimes re- traumatizing) legal procedure