Why faculty should care about student mental health welfare and how faculty can help.
In the visible and vocal wings of STEMM, communities in academic institutions have strived to and struggled to cope with the growing mental health crisis. Numerous think pieces have contemplated how this crisis is getting worse throughout U.S. graduate schools, often citing how graduate students are six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety when compared to the general public. This epidemic is indiscriminate to age, geographical location, field of study, and degree level, though each combination of variables presents unique challenges to be addressed. Across countless institutions, administrators have held task forces, focus groups, wellness lectures, and presented recommendations to department heads and regents. Meanwhile, students of all degree types have organized in unions, held demonstrations, and commiserate by connecting through articles and memes. But key players with stakes in this mental health crisis are seemingly less loud, often hidden or even missing entirely: what are faculty up to in this epidemic?