Mental health issues in academia: ‘stories are not cries of the privileged’

I wrote this opinion piece in response to the ongoing debates about mental health issues in academia.

Nadine Muller

Nadine Muller

Nadine is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University. Her research covers the literary and cultural histories of women, gender, and feminism from the nineteenth century through to the present day. She is currently completing a monograph on the Victorian widow (Liverpool University Press, 2019), and is leading War Widows' Stories, a participatory arts and oral history project on war widows in Britain.

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1 Response

  1. Paolo says:

    Hi Nadine,

    Thank you for your post as always. Being a new PhD, I wanted to do this to get a career in teaching. I knew this was going to demand a lot from me. To be honest however, I felt I underestimated the demand given how I um unable to find someone who said she stayed sane during the entire process. To be honest too, I thought that academia was a sanctuary from the excesses of working in industry. I worked briefly in education (primarily school-aged kids) and witnessed how easy-going life is. Of course there are differences for higher education but I thought that it will be nothing compared to the stress of industry.

    In your opinion, would you think these pressures of mental health, demanding culture were much less 20 or 30 years ago? Do you believe that neoliberalism has hijacked this image of academia being a ‘sanctuary’?


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