Join the Conversation: Take the Phoenix Mental Health Survey

There is no doubt that Swarthmore is a great place to learn. Through hard work and perseverance, our graduates have gone on to realize amazing careers and full lives. But that high reward sometimes comes at a high cost. Our status as one of America’s premier liberal arts colleges is not without a price – and that price is the mountains of work that Swatties have to wade through on a daily basis and the sleepless nights spent completing assignments and readings. We believe that it’s time to have a conversation about the stress culture at Swarthmore, and its effect on students.

The Phoenix has created a survey for students to fill out on the current state of their mental health. The survey (which takes less than five minutes to complete) consists of several multiple-choice questions on topics such as workload and social culture. Responses to the survey are completely anonymous, though students may choose to email The Phoenix at if they wish to have a conversation about mental health. You can access and take the survey here.

The survey already has over 180 responses, demonstrating that mental health is a significant issue on campus and something that Swatties care deeply about. In addition, The Phoenix has received several emails from individuals wishing to discuss their answers further. The results of the survey will be detailed in a multi-part series of articles, beginning this week.

We at The Phoenix encourage everyone on campus to fill out the survey, even if you don’t believe you are affected by mental health issues. It is important to have everyone’s voice heard. Moreover, a higher response rate will yield findings more representative of the state of the student body. Our goal here is to start a conversation. It will be a long conversation on many topics, including the stress culture at Swarthmore and potential policy or institutional changes with regard to students’ mental health. But that conversation cannot begin without a starting point, a role we believe the survey can fill.

The results of the survey could change the way we at Swarthmore talk about mental health, and by extension change the way our campus deals with these issues. Actual recommendations for change are beyond the scope of this editorial, but when that conversation begins, The Phoenix will be a part of it. However, nothing will happen without strong student participation, which is why you taking the survey is so important. Your response will make the campus a better place for everyone.

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