Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Inside Higher Ed and The Professor Is In on academic life with mental illness

The Facebook page for The Professor Is In links to an article in Inside Higher Ed on mental illness, starting from the recent suicide of an autistic Arizona State political scientist. Reading the article I realize I saw friends from the hacker community tweet about this when it happens — I recognize the start of his suicide note.

We are starting to talk about these issues in academia.
We are starting to lift visibility and getting a conversation going about how to do better by our friends and colleagues.

Even so, I find the comments in the Facebook thread disheartening. There is a cut-throat tone in a lot of academia: people in the thread talk about being told that their openness about their mental health is harming their employment searches; are advised not to treat colleagues as friends and to stay quiet in their departments.

I don't want this for us.
We should be able to do better.

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