How to email a professor about mental health?

A student’s mental health has become the prime topic of discussion, especially during the ongoing pandemic. There has been an evident increase in the workload, and it has burdened students devastatingly. Apart from the workload, students also need to worry about their student loans and personal lives, which have become exceedingly complicated. It is only understandable if a student requires aid from professors and can talk to them about their mental health. In this article we shall see How to email a professor about mental health?

There is an appropriate time to talk to your professor regarding your mental health. Picking the right time in the semester to email them about it is very important. The content of the email is sensitive, so it must be explained with due care and caution. The nature of your mental health may be complex, and so you must disclose as much as you are comfortable admitting. You will further understand from this article how to send a proper email addressing your mental health concerns.

Every aspect of your life, along with your academic performance, is influenced by your psychological well being. If you intend on discussing your mental health with your professor, it would be advisable to schedule an appointment during the professor’s office hours. Sending an email should suffice as well. Ask if you can make up for any missed assignments, and keep in touch with your professor throughout the semester. Although it would seem intimidating, you can discuss mental health with your professor openly and transparently.

How to email a professor about mental health?

When Do I Talk to My Professor?

If you realize you’re going to struggle, talk to your professor before the semester starts. If your mental health has previously disrupted a class, you may be aware of a problem before it arises. Contact your professor beforehand like at the beginning of the semester would be ideal to explain the reason why you might skip class or be late at times. Your professor will be much more accommodating and eager to work with you if you inform them early on.

Send a brief email that begins, “Hello professor, this semester, I’m taking your Algebra 100 class, and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been dealing with some mental health issues. As a result, I may miss one or two lectures or be late on assignments. I’d like to schedule an office hour with you to discuss my action plan for this class.” Try not to appear to be demanding preferential treatment. Instead, phrase it as an indication to your professor that a possibility exists.

Contact your professor before you start missing assignments. When you keep missing assignments, it may quickly add to the point where your grade cannot be recovered. If your mental health is causing you to fall behind in class, notify your professors instantly. Do not wait until you have a failing grade before seeking assistance.

Tip: Make an effort to communicate with your instructor throughout the first half of the semester. You’ll still have time to catch up on work or receive extra credit if they allow it. Tell your professor why you are absent. Attendance is not required in all college classes, but some need you to receive participation points. If you miss a class due to your mental health, talk to your professor about it and explain that you were absent due to an illness and that it might happen again. Professors would enjoy knowing that you did not skip their class because you were bored or lazy.

Explaining Your Mental Health to the Professor

Try to schedule an appointment with your professor during their regular office hours. The reason this might help is that if you are alone with your professor there won’t be any interruptions, and this makes it easier to talk to them about sensitive issues such as your mental health. Thus, making an appointment with them beforehand further assists you in talking to your professors about your own mental health. 

Tip: Professors generally announce their regular office hours at the beginning of the semester. Use this information to help you make an appointment with the professor. Consult your class syllabus if you’re unsure how to set up an appointment.

Please share whatever information you feel comfortable sharing. Don’t tell your professor about your entire mental health background if you aren’t comfortable doing so. Please pay attention to the specifics that have led you to underperform in their course or fall behind on your coursework. Mentioning a worsening of your mental health should ideally be enough to get your point across.

For example, you may say, “I’ve been struggling with my mental health recently, and I can see how it’s affecting my productivity in your class.”

Accept responsibility for what you’ve done. Although it is necessary to explain your situation to your professor, prevent finding excuses for yourself. Your professor would appreciate it if you stated why your classwork was worsening and accepted that it is your responsibility to make up for it.

Try saying, “Due to mental health issues, I was forced to forgo the prior three courses, resulting in a major reduction in my GPA.” Is there any way you could compensate for that by offering me college credit work or late assignment credit?”

Inquire about the mental health resources that are accessible to you. College campuses frequently have assistance available to students who are suffering from impaired mental health. Your campus’s counseling facility, health clinic, or independent mental health groups are typically free for students and eager to assist you. Inquire with your professor if they know any resources that demonstrate that you are actively striving to improve your mental health.

You could ask something like, “I know I need help getting through this. Do you have any recommendations for resources on campus that could be useful to me?”

Throughout the semester, keep in touch with your professor. An initial conversation helps inform your professor about your difficulties, but if you continue to drop behind in class, be sure to keep your professor updated. Tell them whether you’re still having issues with your mental health and what you’re doing to address it. Send them a brief email or schedule another office hour to speak with your professor again.

For instance, you may say, “Hi Professor, just wanted to check in.” I didn’t turn in the previous assignment since I’m still dealing with mental health issues. I’ll work harder this week and do my best to do my homework.”

Don’t Lose Hope!

Each student comes from a different background, and thus it would be impossible to cater to the personal requests of all the students. Thus, students must be ready to have their professors’ requests denied, and that will not be the end of the world. It would help if you were not disappointed that you tried in the first place and gave up hope. There is still plenty of help around you. It is up to you to reach out and seek help from the multiple outlets assisting. Qualified counselors, medical professions, and emergency paramedics shall always be available to assist any student in a time of need. 


A student’s mental health is of great importance for the future of the world. Adequate resources and funding must be allocated to tackle ill mental health in students. The pandemic has created a whole new wave of mentally ill students and has also worsened the people who already had bad mental health. There is a need to improve students’ mental health, and it will start with the professors and faculty taking note of the same. A professor must know about the perils of ill mental health and be equipped to help students in need. Simply providing less work to students cannot be the answer. There must be an individual effort that is taken to contribute to the wellbeing of the students. Sensitization to the issue is of utmost importance, and professors should be at the forefront of understanding the problems that students may be dealing with. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who do you contact if you are falling back in your course?

You must contact your professor to inform them that you are falling back on your course and let them know that your mental health has degraded. 

  1. What is the first step to contact your professor?

The first thing to do is to send them a brief and concise email informing them that you intend to set up an appointment with them to discuss matters such as your mental health. 

  1. Should I take responsibility for my inability to cope with the course?

Yes, owning up to the professor is one of the most essential things in this situation. It would help if you gave the faculty the impression that you understand that it’s your burden to carry and that you are dealing with it.

  1. Is there no hope if the faculty declines your request?

That would be false as there will always be help around you, and it is up to you to reach out and seek help.