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Mental health plays a special role in academia due to the framework conditions. The digital theme week is aimed at researchers at all career levels and offers different formats for addressing the topic, e.g. morning sessions and academic exchange.

The mental health awareness days, 2 – 4 November 2021, are a joint venture of Leipzig University, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Techniker Krankenkasse.

It consists of the following individual online events. The events are held in English. Registration is not required, the links for participation can be found directly at the individual events:

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

  • 8.40am–9am
    Morning activation “Brainfit – Train your brain”
    We show you practical exercises for eye relaxation with activation of the brain through movement. We also show how coordinative exercises balance cognitive work and help to improve concentration and performance.
    Access: Zoom, Meeting-ID: 882 9165 9623, passcode: brainfit
  • 3pm–4.30pm
    Keynote “Why should leaders care? The role of leadership for employee mental health.”
    Mental health issues are a pressing topic in academia. Academic leaders often feel overwhelmed due to their heavy workloads and, when confronted with mental health issues in the workplace, are not adequately trained and prepared to deal with these issues appropriately. In this short keynote, we confront societal misconceptions about mental health and reflect on how the behaviour of leaders can affect the mental health of employees. Questions are welcome in the discussion afterwards.
  • The keynote is given by Professor Hannes Zacher. He is a professor of work and organizational psychology at the Institute of Psychology – Wilhelm Wundt at Leipzig University. In his research program, he investigates aging at work and career development, occupational health and well-being, as well as proactive and adaptive employee behavior. Across these research agendas, he employs multiple methodologies, including longitudinal surveys, experience sampling studies, and experiments.
    Access: Zoom, Meeting-ID: 681 2473 3939, Passcode: 037167

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

  • 8.40am–9am
    Morning activation “Get strong with back fitness”
    Let's relieve your back tension! We mobilize your spine and strengthen your back muscles with small but effective exercises so that you can get through the day more relaxed again. Join in and stay fit!
    Access: Zoom, Meeting-ID: 864 8665 1939, passcode: backfit
  • 4pm–5.30pm
    Input and panel discussion “What makes a healthy supervision relationship?”
    What relevance does the topic of mental health have in everyday academic life? How do advisors and doctoral researchers deal with challenges? These and other questions will be addressed in this event. Participants are explicitly invited to participate in the discussion.
    Dr. Hendrik Hutthof, a key promoter of the topic of mental health in science at the University of Jena, will present the current state of research and moderate the panel discussion. We are looking forward to the participation of two supervision award winners Prof. Dr. Anja Mehnert-Theuerkauf (University Hospital Leipzig) and Prof. Dr. Tiffany Knight (Alexander von Humboldt Professorship of Spatial Interaction Ecology) as well as  two doctoral researchers at the UFZ, Elena Motivans and Eleonore Louise Slabbert.
    Access: Zoom, Meeting-ID: 668 4503 5754 Passcode: 966905

Thursday, 4 November 2021

  • 8.40am–9am
    Morning activation “Yoga Nidra – Start your day calm”
    With gentle relaxation exercises and a mindful meditation you will reach a complete deep relaxation. Find your inner balance and bring body and mind into harmony.
    Access: Zoom, Meeting-ID: 852 9515 7018, passcode: yoganidra
  • 10am–11.30am
    Webinar “Strategies for managing our well-being in research”
    We explore the many ways that academics are trying navigate their roles and their well-being in the research world. We highlight the need to: recognise the varied environmental challenges to our well-being in the academic world, set a solid foundation, how to manage our own expectations and the expectations of those around us, identify our red flags (our first signs of stress), learn how to de-escalate our thoughts, sensations, and emotions when we feel overwhelmed or stressed, and press reset when your day is not going to plan.
    The webinar is given by Desiree Dickerson, PhD. She is a clinical psychologist who specialises in the mental health and well-being of researchers and the academic community. Having worked as a researcher in New Zealand, Australia and Austria, Desiree now works globally with universities, lab groups, and academics in the pursuit of a healthier approach to research.
    Access: Zoom, Webinar ID: 896 0572 4694, no passcode