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Only Human: Mental-Health Difficulties Among Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology Faculty and Trainees
Perspectives on Psychological Science  (IF11.621),  Pub Date : 2022-06-22, DOI: 10.1177/17456916211071079
Sarah E. Victor, Andrew R. Devendorf, Stephen P. Lewis, Jonathan Rottenberg, Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp, Dese’Rae L. Stage, Rose H. Miller

How common are mental-health difficulties among applied psychologists? This question is paradoxically neglected, perhaps because disclosure and discussion of these experiences remain taboo within the field. This study documented high rates of mental-health difficulties (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) among faculty, graduate students, and others affiliated with accredited doctoral and internship programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. More than 80% of respondents (n = 1,395 of 1,692) reported a lifetime history mental-health difficulties, and nearly half (48%) reported a diagnosed mental disorder. Among those with diagnosed and undiagnosed mental-health difficulties, the most common reported concerns were depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Participants who reported diagnosed mental disorders endorsed, on average, more specific mental-health difficulties and were more likely to report current difficulties than were undiagnosed participants. Graduate students were more likely to endorse both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental-health difficulties than were faculty, and they were more likely to report ongoing difficulties. Overall, rates of mental disorders within clinical, counseling, and school-psychology faculty and trainees were similar to or greater than those observed in the general population. We discuss the implications of these results and suggest specific directions for future research on this heretofore neglected topic.