This book explores the PhD experience as never before and provides a “survival guide” for current and prospective PhD students. The book investigates why mental health issues are so common among the postgraduate population, going beyond the statistics, looking at lived experience of both the author and as well as current PhD students, who have found balancing mental wellness with the PhD endeavour challenging.
The author discusses tips and tricks she wished she had known at the start of her PhD process for managing mental health, such as managing imposter feelings, prioritising workload, and self-care strategies to help others throughout their own journey.
The book goes beyond typical mental health discussions (where the focus for improving mental health is placed on PhD students to become “more resilient”) and explores some of the often unspoken environmental factors that can impact mental health. These include the PhD student-supervisor relationship, the pressure to publish, and deep systemic problems in academia, such as racism, bullying and harassment.
Finally, the book is a call to action, providing tangible improvements from the author’s perspective that university institutions can make to ensure that academia is a place for all to thrive.