Monday 17 January 2022

Students are suffering so open up universities and colleges, say psychiatrists

Delft University campus: students need interaction with their peers. Photo Przemyslaw Pawelczak

Vocational schools, hbo colleges and universities should open as soon as possible to prevent further pyschological damage to students, the Dutch psychiatry association NVvP has said.

In a letter to the government and the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), the association said that ‘adolescents are more likely than any other group to develop mental problems’ as a result of the closures.

Mood swings, eating disorders and anxiety are on the rise, psychiatrists have warned and the reason is the lack of interaction with peers and the physical experience of attending classes.

Research by national health insitute RIVM carried out in November last year confirmed the coronavirus measures are exacerbating mental problems in students.

‘Clinics for acute psychiatric help for young people are far too busy. They are full to capacity’, NVvP chair Elnathan Prinsen told NOS Radio 1.

Student unions and the MBO Council support the call to open up the universities and (vocational) colleges after January 14 when the government will be reviewing the measures. Primary and secondary schools are already open.

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