Mental Health Support: Wittenborg's Commitment to Student Well-being

Mental Health Support: Wittenborg's Commitment to Student Well-being

Wittenborg's Ongoing Dedication to Student Well-being: Continuing the Dialogue on Mental Health

Did you know? After numerous discussions about mental health over the last couple of years during the Student and Staff Conference Day, Wittenborg introduced a comprehensive support system in 2023 to address personal and confidential issues.

On 5 March, Wittenborg's Student and Staff Conference Day kicked off in Apeldoorn once again. During the morning session, students and staff gathered separately to discuss the workplace structure and environment. Topics included teaching techniques, social gatherings and additional training. The meeting, headed by staff representative Dadi Chen, was hybrid, allowing participation from faculty and staff working remotely, as well as student representatives from Amsterdam.

Following this, the Programme Committee meeting took place with the outcomes of these discussions presented and further deliberated over during the Plenary Feedback session in the afternoon.

Focusing on Mental Health

Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng commented that every year the discussions conducted on the Student and Staff Conference Day provide the school with valuable insights into different topics and areas. In 2023, the central theme of the Plenary Feedback session was mental health and well-being. Students and staff discussed their mental health struggles and shared experiences with the Dutch healthcare system. This prompted Wittenborg to acknowledge the challenges in accessing mental health support in the Netherlands with the introduction of two key support roles: the Student Counsellor and the Student Confidential Advisor.

Student Counsellor

The Student Counsellor, Rens Platteel-de Clercq, provides a safe and confidential space for heart-to-heart conversations, offering guidance and information on various non-educational challenges and personal issues. These include integration within the community, motivation, feelings of loneliness, relationships, family circumstances and health. It is important to note that the Student Counsellor is not a medical professional and does not provide medical treatment. In cases requiring specialist or long-term treatment, students are referred to appropriate medical professionals. The Student Counsellor offers three hours a week of walk-in consultations. Registration is possible by emailing or calling 06-45268720.

Student Confidential Advisor

Wittenborg has also enlisted the expertise of an external Student Confidential Advisor, Jacqueline Horstman. She serves as an independent and confidential point of contact for students who have experienced unacceptable behaviour within Wittenborg, whether as a victim or witness. Topics covered include bullying, sexual harassment, violence, threats and discrimination. Horstman provides moral and emotional support, informs complainants about possible solutions, and assists with reporting and filing complaints. She can be contacted by emailing or calling 0575-547455. In Horstman's absence, a substitute contact person ensures continuous support.

WUP 10/03/2024
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press