The Mental Health Adviser for doctoral students is a new post which follows wide consultation with staff and students, along with feedback from the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).

Hayley Dinham, a current member of the Student Services Counselling and Mental Health Team and previously employed by the NHS as a Mental Health Nurse, takes up the role, based in the Doctoral College for two days a week.

Hayley’s work will focus on:

  • raising awareness of doctoral mental health issues

  • ensuring that doctoral students are aware of the raft of services already available to them

  • developing training for staff and workshops for students

  • listening to staff and students to constantly strive to enhance service provision.

Hayley is already enjoying the opportunity to broaden the responsibilities of her existing role and reflect on how we can better understand the unique challenges faced by many doctoral students.

Hayley said:

Many doctoral students experience quite distinct issues to undergraduates. Our latest training workshop, Drop the Struggle, which starts again this week, shows how doctoral students welcome the acknowledgement we give to issues including, but not limited to, isolation, imposter syndrome and stresses relating to the very nature of doctoral studies. This new role will give us the time and focus to develop more of the bespoke services that they clearly welcome.