Tucker, F. and Horton, J. (2010) It's difficult to admit you have a problem: undisclosed mental health problems in the GEES disciplines. Paper presented to: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Higher Education Academy Subject Centre 10th Anniversary Conference, Plymouth, England, 07-09 July 2010.
This paper presents findings from research with 75 Anglophone Geographers and Earth/Environmental Scientists who describe themselves as having a ‘disabling condition’. We focus upon one key finding from this project: the large proportion of respondents who indicated that they suffered from a ‘disabling’ mental health condition which they had not declared to any of their colleagues, management team or students. Our research suggests that undisclosed mental health problems of this kind typically result in adverse effects in terms of teaching/learning, research and individuals’ career development. In this paper we will illustrate some ways in which GEES disciplines, institutions and departments can be deeply problematic contexts for staff suffering from mental health problems. The paper concludes by presenting questions and prompts for discussion to support the development of practice in GEES departments in relation to the issues