This amounts to 1200 students, over 200 more than the previous year. WUR offers students help through training, life coaches and student psychologists.
Manager student wellbeing Door van der Sloot reports these numbers. ‘I feel the increase may be partially due to a sense of despondency. There is a clear link with corona. We are currently in the third lockdown. Students struggle with motivation and concentration issues, tension and stress and feelings of depression ranging from being sad to more serious issues.’
The increased demand for help causes a long waiting list for student psychologists. Van der Sloot states that students are now screened more diligently upon reporting for help. ‘We want to know what complaints the student experiences and what solution would fit best. This could be help from a psychologist or, in less serious cases, an e-health module from Gezondeboel (in Dutch), a course from Student Training & Support or a session with one of our coaches, with whom you may have up to three sessions to unburden yourself. By applying this selection procedure, we are able to keep the waiting lists for student psychologists within reason while still offering students a tailored solution. Should a student disagree with their referral, they can always request to be put on the waiting list for the student psychologist.’ The current waiting time is approximately three to four weeks.
Some students have difficulty reaching out for help when they experience difficulties. ‘But we have a great and extensive range of solutions for students here in Wageningen’, Van der Sloot says. ‘Moreover, we offer low-threshold, different activities throughout the year. For example, a free chair massage for students in March during the re-sits.’
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