Newswise — Mumbai, March 12 – The Cactus Foundation global survey on mental health in academia, launched in October 2019 by Cactus Communications, a global scholarly, medical communication, and technology solutions company, has already received over 5,000 responses. The survey has also received the support of over 10 prestigious academic societies and global STEM and mental health advocacy organizations, including IndiaBioscience, India Alliance, SciELO, STEM Advocacy Institute, CASE, and Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative.
Speaking on the survey, Abhishek Goel, CACTUS’s Cofounder and CEO, said, “The mental health of researchers is a prime area of concern and it has not received the attention it deserves. The survey is our first attempt—and the first to be done by any organization on a global scale—at understanding what we can do to create a healthier and more nurturing research culture.”
By signing up to be survey partners, these participating organizations have committed to take a stand against the poor working culture and environment in academia and convey their concern and support for their researchers. Smita Jain, Executive Director, IndiaBioscience, explained her organization’s decision to support the survey: “The undue pressures to excel and prove oneself in the academic world, unpreparedness to deal with these pressures and the taboo associated with the resulting mental health issues are some of the major challenges gripping the academia today. Each one of us in academia has to bring in a mindset shift and accept the mental health issues with an open mind in order to stay happy and excel. This requires sustained efforts to create awareness.”
Victor Ugo, Founder, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative, hopes that this survey will be the catalyst for a better understanding of mental health in academia: “It is well accepted that mental health problems are prevalent in the research community; the next step is to better understand why this is the case, and then to develop prevention and promotion strategies to appropriately address this growing problem.”
Clarinda Cerejo, VP, Content & Community at CACTUS, who is spearheading the initiative on behalf of Cactus Foundation, spoke about the significance of the organizations’ participation: “We didn’t want this to be just another survey. We’ve seen too many researchers express pain and exasperation about having to take several surveys that don’t eventually result in anything. We want to make sure that our survey responses are not just a collection of suggestions, but that we can work with institutions to create action plans and impact real positive change. And this is precisely what our participating organizations are committing to do.”
The survey is estimated to receive 25,000 responses by March 2020 and Cactus Foundation is looking forward to the participation of several universities and other organizations who wish to take a stand against a poor research culture and working environment in academia. Interested organizations can sign up here: cactusglobal.com/mental-health-survey/.
About Cactus Communications
Founded in 2002, Cactus Communications (CACTUS) is a global scientific communications company that collaborates with researchers across academic disciplines, universities, publishers, societies, and life science organizations to accelerate research impact. CACTUS’s portfolio of products and services meet a wide spectrum of research needs: Editage provides editorial, translation, education, and training solutions for researchers; Cactus Life Sciences offers strategic and tactical scientific content solutions to global life sciences organizations; PubSURE is the first AI-powered scholarly publishing platform connecting journals and researchers; and Impact Science ensures wider research impact via dissemination solutions and research engagement with peers, public, and policymakers. Powering all CACTUS businesses with latest technologies is its innovation and R&D cell Cactus Labs. CACTUS also incubates seed and early stage startups that share its mission to solve global problems with science and technology solutions.
CACTUS is an international enterprise with offices in London, Princeton, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Aarhus, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai; a global workforce of over 3,000 experts; and customers from over 190 countries. CACTUS has been consistently ranked as a Great Place to Work, with its best annual ranking of #1 in 2017 (Great Places to Work survey: http://bit.ly/2oaAUot).