Doctoral School

Your mental health and wellbeing

The Doctoral School is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of doctoral researchers at Sussex.

Finding innovative ways of realising this commitment will be a key priority for the Doctoral School over the next few years. We are looking to support a number of projects, which will complement the exceptional mental health and wellbeing research already being conducted at Sussex.

Current projects

Studying for a doctorate can be an exciting, but sometimes challenging experience. It's important to remember that there are lots of opportunities to access help and advice if you feel that your wellbeing is being affected by any challenges that you encounter during your doctoral study.

Below you'll find details of the support available at Sussex as well as a number of online resources.

Support at Sussex

Student Life Centre

Offering one to one consultations, the Student Life Centre provides general student information, advice and guidance on a wide range of issues including personal and welfare concerns, money advice, and academic issues. Download the Information for Research Students leaflet [PDF 284.07KB].

Visit the Student Life Centre website

University Counselling Service

The University Counselling Service offers a range of free and confidential services available to all students at Sussex including individual therapy, group therapy, workshops, and an online self-help application.

Visit the Counselling Service website

Student Support Unit

The Student Support Unit is the University's team of specialist advisors who work with students who may need support due to a long-term condition. The unit can be accessed by students with specific learning difficulties, long-term health and mental health conditions, and Autistic Spectrum conditions.

Visit the Student Support Unit website

University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU)

USSU wants to make sure that postgraduate students get the most out of their experience at Sussex. Their Advice and Representation Centre offers free, independent and confidential information, advice and support on a range of academic and non-academic issues.

Visit the University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) website

Health and Wellbeing

These webpages offer a wide range of health and wellbeing resources for all Sussex students, including advice and guidance around physical health, mental and emotional health, eating well and keeping active, sexual health, alcohol and drugs, and safety.

Visit the Health and Wellbeing website

Workshops and Events

Keep an eye on our event listing to find out about wellbeing workshops and events for doctoral researchers at Sussex, including:

Researcher Development Programme - Boost your resilience and manage stress in the research environment

Boosting your capacity for resilience and handling stress are skills you can expand at any stage, wherever your starting point is. These skills will support you when you are anticipating a stressful situation, preparing for an upcoming challenge, and recovering from difficulty. This workshop will provide you with insights into how to boost your personal capacity for resilience, and introduce you to a variety of techniques to help you better identify, manage, and recover from stress. You will formulate a personal action plan for both the short and long term, taking into account the nature of your specific research environment and need for balance in your life.

See dates or add your name to the waiting list.

University Counselling Service - Workshops

The University Counselling Service offers a range of workshops throughout the academic year. Visit their website for further information.

Mindfulness at The Meeting House

The Meeting House provides regular opportunities throughout the week for both staff and students to de-stress and relax through mindfulness sessions.

Mindfulness sessions currently take place on Mondays and Fridays from 13.00 - 13.30 in The Meeting House.

Online resources

The PhD Survival Video

Produced by Angel Productions, The PhD Survival Video discusses how the pressure of a PhD can be made manageable, and offers practical advice for dealing with common problems encountered during doctoral research.

Login to Study Direct to view The PhD Survival Video.

Postgraduate Wellbeing Prezi

A guide to staying happy and healthy in your postgraduate studies

Created by School of Education and Social Work doctoral researcher Emily Danvers, this Prezi offers strategies for success when it comes to managing your doctoral research.

The wellbeing tips included in the Prezi have been adapted from research into postgrauate students and wellbeing carried out at the University of Brighton: Morris, C. and Wisker, G. (2011) Troublesome Encounters: Strategies for managing the wellbeing of Postgraduate Education students during their learning processes

View the Postgraduate Wellbeing Prezi.

Resources from Vitae

Vitae offer a range of booklets providing practical advice and tips tailored to researchers on topics chosen to support professional development.

Vitae (2008) 'The Balanced Researcher' booklet thumbnail

For researcher wellbeing, we recommend The Balanced Researcher: Strategies for Busy Researchers. You can view the booklet on the Vitae website by registering with your Sussex e-mail address.

See also:

Websites, blog posts and articles

From the Sussex Research Hive blog:

Other blog posts:



Doctoral School

T: 00 44 (0)1273 87 7767