Mental Health for PhD students

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IRB Barcelona BioMed Workshop


Speakers: Ana Gutierrez Guillén, Anna Houstecka, Chris Barratt, and Ramón Nogueras Pérez.


PhD students experience alarmingly high rates of depression, anxiety and stress, as shown in numerous studies worldwide. As graduate students, our risk of experiencing mental health issues is 6 times greater than for the general population1. Almost half of graduate students are depressed2, many reporting “more-than-average” or “tremendous” levels of stress connected to education, work, and financial concerns related to PhD studies3. Although Spain is considered to be one of the happiest countries in Europe, PhD students in Spain experience a considerable degree of burnout, especially emotional exhaustion4. And although those with higher education studies overall show a greater prevalence of mental health issues, among them, PhD students are the most affected5. Still, many of us are shy to talk about these issues and share our experiences.

To start this conversation, we will host a virtual panel on Mental Health and PhD. We want to remove the stigma around mental health and therapy and bring to light where many of these issues originate from. Four experts, with varying backgrounds, will discuss topics related to mental health in academia, focusing on the PhD journey.

The speakers will share actionable advice on how to cope with the stress, depression and anxiety that are so prevalent among PhDs. We will learn how to deal with fear of failure and imposter syndrome and explore where procrastination comes from and how it is linked to perfectionism.

This panel is organised solely for the PhD students at IRB Barcelona. To ensure safety and anonymity during interactions with the audience, the panel will include options for anonymous answers and questions. Please note that the panel will be held in English.


Organisers: IRB Student Council, PeacehD


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