Adolescence and early adulthood are extremely vulnerable developmental stages for mental illness. Students today are exposed to various stressors relating to academia, social relationships, independence, and future demands. Consequently, 020 believes that the UvA, should take responsibility for the mental health of its student body.

As Covid puts further pressure on the mental well-being of students, 020 wants to create an environment where UvA actively looks out for its students as well as providing them with the necessary information to stay healthy.

Take a look at our policies to improve students’ mental health below and let us know your thoughts!

A hands-on approach to improving the UVA

What will 020 change to improve students’ mental health?

1

Better Mental Health Information

020 wants students to focus on their individual contribution and the University of Amsterdam to offer more incentives for students to be more sustainable and practice greener alternatives. Hence, creating a sustainable consciousness among all UvA students.

2

Tutors as a First Contact Point

We provide ideas for different informational campaigns on the most important elements that make up a more sustainable UvA campus experience such as recycling, responsible consumption, sustainability courses and so on.

Better Mental Health Information

The Problem

It is currently very unclear where students can go with their mental health issues. Even though this has always been the case, online teaching has only worsened this problem.

The UvA has a network of mentors, counsellors, and student psychologists. Unfortunately, 020 found that students do not know the options that are available to them; or which one to choose. Furthermore, international students are unfamiliar with the regular Dutch mental healthcare system in general. Consequently, while the University has mental health facilities, the guidance students need is lacking.

The Solution

020 proposes to create a better mental health information platform at UvA. Ideally, the University will provide first-year students with the information during the introduction week, as well as with an accessible online environment.

As such, during the introduction week, time should be dedicated to introducing new students to the UvA mental health facilities. Of course, they always need a way to find that information again later. We believe, that the easiest way the University could do this is by creating a Canvas page dedicated to mental health. During the pandemic, the University updated students on online studying and further updates through Canvas. Naturally, this does not mean that the information should not be on the UvA website. But putting it on Canvas puts it in students’ paths naturally.

Interested in the way 020 will implement these mental health policies and what the costs of that will be? Reach out to our Policy and Research Team!

Tutors as a First Contact Point

The Problem

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

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.

Interested in the way 020 will implement these mental health policies and what the costs of that will be? Reach out to our Policy and Research Team!