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Mental Health and Working in Microbiology | Pharmig

Mental Health and Working in Microbiology

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re using it to spotlight the importance of caring for your mental health while working in Microbiology. While the conversation around mental health is more prevalent than ever, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to normalising the discussion.

In this article, we’ll discuss the origins of Mental Health Awareness Month, why it’s critical for microbiologists to frequently check in on their mental health, and strategies you can use to support your mental health if you work in the microbiology field. Scroll down to dive in.

 

Mental Health Awareness Month: What Is It?

Before we focus on mental health in microbiology, it’s time to talk about Mental Health Awareness Month.

This month-long event has been running since 1949 and was initially created by the American organisation Mental Health America. Over 70 years later, the event has been embraced all around the globe. From schools to communities, plenty of groups use this event to open up discourses about mental well-being.

The main aims of Mental Health Awareness Month are:

  • To remove the stigma of mental illness
  • To provide and improve mental health support
  • To advocate for better mental health policies
  • To improve mental health education

Popular ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month include raising money for relevant charities, sharing personal experiences that can inspire and empower others, building resources and toolkits, and providing better mental health education for all demographics.

 

Why Microbiologists Should Check In With Their Mental Health

Mental health isn’t always discussed within microbiology, but microbiologists should check in with their mental health as often as other professionals.

Typically, microbiology careers require long hours of concentration and incredible attention to detail. Add deadlines, training courses, and other aspects of corporate pressure into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for extreme stress and potential burnout. So, practising healthy habits and taking preventative measures is critical.

Neglecting your mental health can lead to burnout, which can impact your career progression. But that’s not the only negative effect. You may also impact the quality of your work, which can have knock-on effects on projects and your colleagues.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools and strategies you can use to protect and nurture your mental health. We’ll discuss some field-specific options below.

 

Supporting Mental Health in Microbiology

Suppose you’ve noticed you’re struggling to keep up with your workload or microbiology career demands. In that case, it might be a sign that you need to implement some mental health strategies to decrease stress and increase productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Here are some actionable strategies microbiologists can use to support their mental well-being:

  • In the lab, aim to create a clear structure with high-quality project planning so all colleagues understand the process, expectations, health and safety, and overall guidelines.
  • Respect work-life boundaries in the workspace and create an environment that allows work-relevant boundary setting (e.g., sticking to clear work hours and not breaking confidentiality agreements).
  • Provide access to mental health resources, relevant fact sheets, and professional support.
  • Assessing workload and delegating tasks in a fair and equal manner.
  • Ensuring the workplace has access to nutritious food options, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, can have knock-on effects on your mental well-being.

Building a professional microbiology space that nurtures mental health doesn’t happen overnight. However, over time, you can make small changes that promote a healthier working style and allow microbiologists to flourish in the workplace.

 

The Bottom Line

Looking after your mental health allows you to lower your stress levels, create better professional relationships, improve your cognitive abilities, and increase emotional stability. Perfect for navigating the challenges of a career in microbiology, and beneficial to your life outside the office (or lab), too.

Learn more about life in the microbiology industry on the Pharmig blog.

Or discover how Pharmig can help professionals in the pharmaceutical microbiology industry.