As has been highlighted before, the UvA mental health facilities are part of a big web. Consequently, finding the right option as a student can be very daunting, raising the barrier to find help.
020 found that many students struggling with mental health issues are do not know the options available to them, or where to go first. As such, a lot of time is wasted by making appointments with people that cannot help you with your problem and then looking for those who can. Furthermore, it is often unclear for students, which problems they can come to the UvA with and which problems they should seek outside help.
The solution 020 proposes is that tutors will start functioning as a first contact point for students’ mental health issues. This is not to say that tutors should be burdened with counselling work. What is necessary though, is that the University provides students with some guidance.
The mentorship meetings that tutors have with their students is an opportunity to check in with them. Tutors can discuss mental health while also providing students with information as to what UvA can offer. As such, for struggling students, these mentorship meetings are a way to light the ways ahead. What this does not mean is that tutors will replace any of the other facilities at the UvA. On the contrary, they will inform students where to go, be it the student desk, study advisors, counsellors, or psychologists.
It should be noted that before this happens, tutors need clear instructions on how to approach this subject. Students should never feel pressed to divulge the things they are dealing with. Besides, a tutor can still provide information about the different options without knowing any details.