My bullying supervisor damaged my mental health. But when I stood up to him, I received no support from my university

I was awarded a prestigious fellowship in 2015 and moved my family across the country to take up a postdoctoral position at a world-class biomedical research institute. Little did I know that this seemingly invaluable opportunity would set me on a dangerous path to mental ill health.

My self-confidence, scientific progress and mental health were in decline from the beginning. My supervisor belittled me in front of my peers, derided me for enacting laboratory safety measures and denied me the technical training I needed to gain traction in a new scientific discipline. I recall silently sobbing as his large frame hulked over me, and how he gesticulated wildly as he yelled, “Just do what I tell you!”. That meeting lasted 90 minutes, the culmination of months of relentless bullying from he, the principal investigator on our research project.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".