NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 09:48
Even two years after corona, a significant number of students still suffer from anxiety or depression. This is evident from the new Monitor Mental health and substance use students in higher education. The RIVM and the Trimbos Institute conducted research among 32,000 students.
A measurement was also taken in 2021, during the corona pandemic, and according to the RIVM, the current results give roughly the same picture as then. A third of students give ‘life’ a grade of 7 or higher. At the same time, a large proportion of respondents have psychological complaints and stress. International students and students with a migration background in particular suffer from this.
There is a bright spot compared to two years ago, says researcher Jolien Dopmeijer NOS Radio 1 News: “What we see in any case is a decrease in performance pressure and loneliness. The latter can certainly be explained because we last measured during the lockdown period.”
Dopmeijer emphasizes that there are still many complaints among students. Almost 60 percent suffer from ’emotional exhaustion complaints’.
Alcohol consumption is also high, the researcher says. “We looked at the dependence on alcohol and when it becomes risky and you move towards addiction. That part is 40 percent.” That hasn’t changed; in the previous study the percentage was also 40 percent.
Students at the table
The researcher calls it positive that there is more attention within educational institutions for the well-being of students. Students also ask for more help themselves and the way to it is easier to find, the research shows.
To continue that movement, the Student Welfare program is being launched today. A plan is being developed to improve the well-being of students, and many educational institutions are participating.
But according to Dopmeijer, there is still a long way to go and the ball is not just in the court of educational institutions. “You see many concerns among students about social issues: how to pay the high taxes, the climate crisis, political organization and wars. Students do not have a seat at the table when it comes to making future policy.” Dopmeijer hopes that students will also be allowed to participate in decisions about these types of topics.
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