What do (master) students, (post)doctoral students, technical staff, and Professors have to deal with apart from technical problems in their work? British chemist Zoë Ayres, for example, did not present a poster about her research findings at the 2019 Twitter #RSCPoster Conference, but one on mental health. The poster can now be downloaded in five languages from her website. Eliza Leusmann, Editor at Nachrichten aus der Chemie, Frankfurt, Germany, welcomes the fact that this topic is receiving more attention.
Mental stress can be very different and changes with positions. Examples may include: Moving out of the parent’s home, living with new people, financial stress, time-consuming tasks and a lot of studying, failures in the lab, competitive pressure, feelings of inferiority, feeling underestimated by colleagues/supervisors, dependence on the supervisor, and uncertainty about the future.
Studying chemistry is considered to be a hard course of study. This means that those who need help or support in this process are certainly not alone, and it is important to point out that psychological problems and illnesses have nothing to do with weakness. Therefore, it is good to talk to fellow students who may have the same problems or even a Professor you trust. Likewise, talking to friends or family, the university’s psychological counseling center, or your doctor can help. If you are not affected yourself but would like to raise awareness of mental health issues, there are articles on Zoë Ayres’ homepage and at Nature.com.
- Psychische Gesundheit: Unsichtbare Wunden,
Nachr. Chem. 2022.