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Understanding Mental Health Impacts in Planetary Science

Presentation #312.02 in the session IDEA, Education, Public Engagement, Workforce Development and History (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Understanding Mental Health Impacts in Planetary Science

We discuss avenues for changing the culture of planetary science in the interest of promoting better mental health outcomes and being more inclusive. This discussion builds from the Planetary Decadal Survey white paper “Addressing Mental Health in Planetary Science” [1] and the many subsequent articles and studies of mental health in the sciences [e.g., 2]. The scope and impact of anxiety and depression in planetary science remain poorly quantified. A survey study under way by Trang and co-workers seeks to address this deficiency [3]. Such data are needed in order to properly accommodate the needs of impacted individuals and to raise awareness about mental health concerns within our community. In general terms, as a key part of their efforts toward improving equity and inclusion, employers and funding agencies should strive to address overwork and harassment, and should provide flexible working arrangements to individuals who need them.

[1] Vance, SD et al. (2021) Addressing Mental Health in Planetary Science. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. https://doi.org/10.3847/25c2cfeb.874778ea

[2] Hall, S (2023) The Mental-Health Crisis in Science. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-023-01708-4

[3] Trang, D et al. (2022) Surveying Mental Health Within Planetary Science. Advancing IDEA in Planetary Science. https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/advancingidea2022/pdf/2042.pdf

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