Mental Health in Academia 2: Hacks for Cultivating and Sustaining Wellbeing


We are delighted to present All for One and One for All: Public Seminar Series on Mental Health in Academia and Society. All for One and One for All talks will shine the light on and discuss mental health issues in academia across all levels – from students to faculty, as well as in wider society. Seminars are held online once per month on Wednesdays at 5pm CEST/ 11am EST and free for all to attend. Speakers include academics, organisations, and health professionals whose work focuses on mental health. Live Q and A sessions will be held after each talk. For live webinar schedule please visit this website. Follow us on Twitter: @LashuelLab

Our conversation is between Dr. Rebecca Lester and Dr. Hilal Lashuel, with support from Galina Limorenko.

Mental health concerns among university populations are on the rise. Faculty and students report increasing levels of depression, stress, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. These mental health crises reduce overall wellness and inhibit the educational process. We identify uncertainty, financial stress, disruptions to social networks, burnout, and the contemporary social/political climate as key triggers for mental health crises for faculty and students. Faculty are in a position to provide support to one another and their students and as such, we provide strategies that attend to these triggers and complement other forms of intervention.

Dr. Lester’s work sits at the intersection of anthropology, psychiatry, religion, and gender studies. She is interested in how individuals experience existential distress, and how this distress manifests as psychiatric symptoms, religious angst, somatic pain, and other culturally informed bodily conditions.

Topics of the conversation include:

1. Discussion of the book “Famished: Eating Disorders and Failed Care in Americao What is normal, and Who is normal?”

  • What roles do definitions play in our understanding of mental health and illness
  • How does culture contribute to what is “acceptable”
  • What are cultural constructions of "mental illness" and "recovery"

2. Mental Health in Academia

  • How mental health issues are talked about and addressed in academia
  • What could be done to help increase awareness and normalize the conversation and create a healthy working culture that values mental health and wellness
  • What are ways the conversation on mental health in academia needs to be taken forward

3. Audience QnA

Your Host

Galina Limorenko

Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.

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