Mental health. This topic has had an aura of taboo around it for quite some time now. Luckily we have been gradually shedding this taboo over the past couple of years, but obstacles still remain when it comes to drawing sufficient attention to the issue and specifically the role it plays in the lives of students.
If you have been following 020 recently, you probably know by now that mental health is an issue which we care deeply about. The most important reason for us caring do much about this issue, is that over the years a frighteningly growing number of students has been struggling with their mental health.
Unfortunately the students at UvA are no exception to this rule. Despite the fact UvA gives students access to mental health counseling, this remains only a reality on paper for too many students. One of them is Catherine (whose name has been changed in this article, for she wishes to remain anonymous) who had to wait for three months before she had her first appointment with the student psycholigist at UvA.
And Catherine is, sadly, not an exception. As said above, her experience is the rule. At 020 we want to confront the harsh reality of the mental health crisis among students. Of course we could fill hours of debate about the causes of this pandemic (rising debt due to student loans, too much stress due to a high work pressure, competitiveness, overburdening oneself because of the will to succeed, etc.) but the most important thing is that more help in the mental health field needs to be provided to students now.
One of the best starting points for this is to hire more student psychologists to ease the workload of the current one(s) and this remains one of the key points of our party program. But perhaps the most important medicine for tackling this pandemic remains the creation of more awareness for the issue of mental health among students.
020 is and will remain comitted to the spreading of awareness.