Graduate students are six times more likely than the general population to experience depression and anxiety, according to a 2018 study published in Nature Biotechnology. At UW–Madison, a new student group has developed a way to complement university resources on mental health with a proactive approach that brings students together to talk about their challenges, offer advice to one another, and build supportive communities on campus.
Brilliant and Diverse Graduate Research Scholars (BADGRS), founded by graduate students at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), is a discussion space for grad students, postdocs, and other trainees. They want to destigmatize conversations about mental health.
“We had the idea to start a peer group focused on discussing emotional, psychological, and sociological factors that can impact grad students’ mental health, which we had personally experienced or witnessed in our peers,” said Katie Mueller, one of the founders of BADGRS and a graduate student in the Cellular & Molecular Biology program.
Katie has also helped to found a CMB chapter of the BADGRS group based on the curriculum developed by BADGRS@WID.
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