SPS National Council Makes Statement of Mental Health

Share This:

Sunday, April 4, 2021


B. Conrad

On February 10, 2021, the National Council of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society, have voted to approve the following statement for general dissemination. Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy students from over 300 chapters self-identified mental health as one of the most important issues they face at the 2019 Physics Congress. The well-being of all students is a primary concern to us as we aim to serve all undergraduate physics and astronomy students. The following statement is intended be accompanied by a set of resources aimed at supporting student mental well-being:

“The Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ) acknowledge that the success of all students is tied to mental health. As the national organization representing those with an interest in physics, we encourage chapters and advisers to discuss issues of mental health and to identify resources for students.”

Additional information:

As a direct response to the 2019 Physics Congress climate survey, this statement aims to encourages students and faculty to foster a department culture that is supportive of fellow students and their endeavors and mindful of everyone's mental well-being. SPS encourages chapter leaders to actively interact with your college’s mental health professionals to outline resources related to mental health for members. SPS encourages chapters to publicly advertise mental well-being resources and others from sources such as those from your college and the National Institute of Mental HealthChapter leaders should help to relay their college’s resources around counseling centers, encourage members to be supportive of their peers, and strive to provide an environment for all members that is caring and aware. Chapter leaders should strive to provide an empathetic environment for all members where issues relating to mental health (including belonging, stress, and anxiety) are prioritized and addressed.

College students face challenges on many different fronts which can cause stresses and strain overall wellness. Chapters and their members should adopt practices which support others as they seek to manage their stresses and help to build relationships based on respect. 

Resources from the National Institute of Mental Health:

Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454

The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects callers to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Crisis Text Line

Text “HELLO” to 741741

The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

Veterans Crisis Line

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255

The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can call 1-800-799-4889.

Potential Resources:

  • Health guides from the Center for Young Women's Health
  • JED Foundation provides a wide variety of mental health Resources
  • Paths to Resilience and Success By: Soonhee Lee, PhD, Interim Counseling Center Assistant Director/Training, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Susan Han, PhD, Counseling Center Associate Director for Outreach, Johns Hopkins University; and Bruce Herman, PhD, Director of Health & Counseling, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Mental Maintenance and Inner Unity by Dwight E. Neuenschwander, Professor of Physics, Southern Nazarene University Content warning: This article contains some sensitive content, including graphic language describing suicide. If you or anyone else needs help finding support or crisis resources, please visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
  • Mental Health Matters–Normalizing the Conversation By: Kendra Redmond, SPS Observer Editor
  • The Shape of an Education by: Brad Conrad, Director of SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma
  • Ulifeline.org: Download practical information about mental health topics, get tips on taking care of yourself at school, take a self-evaluation, ask questions, and seek help anonymously
  • Go Ask Alice! Ask questions anonymously
  • MedlinePlus: Provided by the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Library of Medicine, contains info on health and medical topics, such as mental health.
  • Woop - WOOP is a science-based mental strategy that people can use to find and fulfill their wishes, set preferences, and change their habits. Based on twenty years of research in the science of motivation, WOOP has helped people reduce stress and increase work engagement, find integrative solutions to problems, and improve time management and academic achievement.