Scheduled Date: 12/11/2020
Start Time: 12:00 PM EDT
End Time: 4:30 PM EDT

Recent studies have identified a growing crisis in graduate student mental health.  Program policies that perpetuate structures of social, racial, and other inequalities and academic bullying have been persistent and intractable problems in graduate education.  Many anthropology programs are also failing to adequately prepare their students for potentially traumatic experiences in the field. Despite increasing alarm in the United States about the college student mental health crisis, graduate students are often overlooked in university initiatives focused on undergraduate well-being. Graduate students and mentors are left largely unsupported. This half-day (4-hour) workshop will focus on capacitating graduate program directors and advisors/mentors of graduate students to better understand and respond to the mental health needs of graduate students before, during, and after fieldwork. The workshop will feature graduate student, mental health professional, and graduate advising perspectives on topics such as the scope of challenges in graduate student mental health, how to locate, access, and direct students to existing resources, and how to create program-specific resources where none are available. Taking an intersectional approach, the workshop will include discussions of various challenges faced by members of marginalized communities, such as Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC), members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, students facing poverty, first-generation college students, religious minorities, and other marginalized communities. Participants will create a mental health preparedness document, including a list of local and national resources as well as clear plans for implementing program-level or individual mentor-level best practices to better attend to graduate students’ mental health. This workshop is being organized by Rebecca Lester, PhD, LCSW, professor at Washington University in St. Louis and president of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and Beatriz Reyes-Foster, PhD, graduate coordinator at the University of Central Florida Department of Anthropology and co-chair of the Anthropology of Mental Health Interest Group, a Special Interest Group of the Society for Medical Anthropology.

Enrollment starts Nov. 9 through the AAA website

Workshop is hosted on the AAA Zoom Meeting platform; details provided to enrolled participants.

Workshop Facilitators:
Beatriz Reyes-Foster
Rebecca Lester
Eileen Anderson-Fye
Sarah Lyon
Melinda González