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If you are finding the PhD tough, you are not alone. Career confidence and professional self-concept in PhD students is low and this is related to poor mental wellbeing. In this session, we will review what the data shows us about factors impacting mental wellbeing for PhD students. We will think about practical steps that you can take to look after your mental wellbeing.

This discussion will of course touch upon relationships with supervisors. We know this relationship plays a critical role in student wellbeing and career development. We also know that the relationship can be difficult. With practical examples and discussions within the session, we will consider how to manage your supervisor.

We will hear about the ‘whole university’ approach to student mental health and wellbeing, which aims to move away from seeing mental health and wellbeing as something rooted in the individual, and instead calls for a shift to see them as something which should be the focus of every aspect of the university. The progress that King’s has made towards this goal will be considered.

After this webinar, you will:

  1. Understand some of the factors that impact PhD student mental wellbeing.
  2. Feel more confident managing your supervisor.
  3. Understand the wider support available at King’s.


Dr Nicola Byrom is a senior lecturer in Psychology at King’s College London, specializing in student mental health. Nicola leads SMaRteN, the national student mental health research network. She founded Student Minds, with the ambition of changing the way we talk about mental health in Higher Education. Her work with Student Minds was recognised by the Queen, when she was one of the first people in the UK to be awarded the Queen's Young Leader Award.

Professor Juliet Foster is Dean of Education at King’s College London, and a social psychologist. She is Academic Lead for King’s for student mental health and wellbeing, and is also one of the assessors for the University Mental Health Charter.

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