Reviewing the Challenges & Mental Health Issues of Academic Trainees

Research Paper Title

The Challenges and Mental Health Issues of Academic Trainees.

Background

In the last decade, mental health issues have come to the foreground in academia. Literature surrounding student mental health continues to grow as universities try to implement wellness services and study the mental health of their students.

Studies vary greatly in terms of measurement tools, timeframe, sample demographics, as well as the chosen threshold of symptom severity for diagnosis.

This review attempts to summarise, contextualise and synthesise papers that pertain to the challenges faced by academic trainees at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level.

The evidence for, and against, the common claim of increasing prevalence of mental health issues among students in recent years is discussed.

While some studies support this claim, it is difficult to reach a definitive conclusion due to numerous confounding factors such as increased help-seeking behaviour, greater awareness of mental health issues and weak methodology.

The prevalence of depression, anxiety, suicidal and self-injurious behaviour, distress and general mental illness diagnoses are discussed.

Other issues known to influence mental health, such as sexual assault and bullying, are briefly addressed.

Finally, select studies on a few wellness strategies that may improve mental health of trainees, such as mindfulness, are summarised, along with diverse recommendations for individual students, universities, and academia as a whole.

Reference

Eleftheriades, R., Fiala, C. & Pasic, M.D. (2020) The Challenges and Mental Health Issues of Academic Trainees. F1000Research. 9:104. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.21066.1. eCollection 2020.

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