On this page, information can be found on where to go in case you are facing difficulties related to your studies and personal development, social contacts and community, mental health, conflicts, or addiction and harassment. There are different sources available for you, provided by either study association Aureus, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, or other external parties.
Student well-being and Study Association Aureus
As the study association of the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, we consider it important to provide students with help and support with regard to their well-being. Therefore, the following two counselors within the association have been appointed.
Sebastiaan Kaandorp (left) is 22 years old and is this year’s Innovation Officer and Secretary. He is to be contacted in English or Dutch. Ilayda Tayfun (right) is 22 years old and is this year’s Career Officer. She is to be reached in English or Turkish.
Both can be approached at any time in order to have a confidential conversation about anything that you might be going through or struggling with. For their contact details, please click their names below the picture and you will be redirected to their personal profiles. Legally speaking, our counselors are obligated to keep all discussed matters confidential and thus will only share or act on the discussed topics with your explicit consent.
You need to be logged in to contact the counselor.
Aside from this, our association organizes events for students focused not only on improving their well-being in general but also focused on informing and teaching students how to improve to do so. To stay updated about the events we organize related to student wellbeing, please keep a close eye on our events and/or social media.
Student well-being and the VU University
As it can be difficult for you to know where to go, the Vrije Universiteit has created the following infographic to assist you in finding the right department, depending on the topic:
For more information, please visit the Student Wellbeing page on the website of the VU. On this page, directions to different departments of the VU can be found as well.
If you are unsure where to tend to, then we recommend contacting the Academic Advisors of the School of Business and Economics. They are there to advise, support, and guide you on an academic and personal level throughout your studies at the VU. The academic advisors are available via email and during on-campus consultation hours.
Moreover, for a few years, the Student Wellbeing Point & Panel was initiated by students for students. In the informal and relaxed space, trained VU students offer their fellow students a listening ear, a safe space to take a breather, or advice on where to find VU support services. The Point Peers are in close contact with employees and initiatives surrounding student wellbeing, like the Student Psychological Counsellors, and can easily help students set up appointments! For more information, please visit the following link: Student Wellbeing Point & Panel.
Student well-being and external parties
Aside from support provided by study association Aureus and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, there are many external parties available for you as well.
Social Contact and Community
Of course, you want to get the most out of your time as a student. Studying in Amsterdam means having a choice from a large number of associations. There are social associations, (faculty) study associations, sports associations, and associations with a different focus, such as creative or cultural associations. Besides getting to know many people, you can also gain valuable experience in a committee or board. A student association focuses on creating social connections between students.
To learn more about the study- and student associations located in Amsterdam, click here.
Most GP practices also offer guidance from a mental healthcare assistant practitioner (often a nurse or psychologist) who knows a lot about mental health issues. He or she can either offer you direct guidance to overcome your problems or can assist you when you are in need of a referral for more specialized mental health care. Appointments are covered by your health insurance and no additional payment is required. Also, they often have short waiting lists, meaning that an appointment could be scheduled on (relatively) short notice.
As a student, you meet new people, create memories and develop your identity. For many people, it’s the time of their lives. But student life can also be difficult. You might feel pressure to do well or struggle with feelings of loneliness. It’s totally normal to not feel ‘okay’. Everyone struggles with mental health problems from time to time. Talking about your feelings to people you’re close to usually helps. Need extra help? GGD Amsterdam offers you some options on their website.
Do you sometimes feel lonely, do you find it difficult to study and/or motivate yourself, or do you just need someone who listens to you? Your student days are not always fun. Frisse Gedachtes is a free platform where you can contact psychology students or experience experts anonymously. You choose the student you want to chat with anonymously and for free.
UpTalk is an initiative of Thrive Amsterdam Mentaal Gezond in cooperation with Mindmasters, Jouw GGD, and @Ease. You can come here for a free and accessible way to present your mental problems to a professional coach. The coaches offer a listening ear and give tips and advice. And if necessary, they help you to prevent new or worse problems. Check out the English flyer for a short impression of what UpTalk does. Or call 06 1192 0306 (every working day from 9:00 to 17:00), have a chat with a coach, or drop by for a chat at an @ease location in Amsterdam. (Unfortunately, the website of UpTalk is only in Dutch.)
The Luisterlijn offers a listening ear day and night for people who need a confidential conversation. They can be reached via telephone (available 24/7 at 088 0767 000), chat, and email.
The helpline of the Red Cross offers a listening ear, advice, or extra help and you can reach them at 070 – 44 55 678 (Monday to Thursday: 8:30 – 21:00, Friday 8:30 – 17:00, Saturday 8:30 – 14:00). They offer help in many languages, for example, English, Chinese, Turkish and Moroccan-Arabic.
113 Suicide Prevention is the national Dutch suicide prevention center. They offer several mental health services, such as crisis chat/telephone, chat therapy, self-help course, and self-tests. They also offer help if you are worried someone you know will harm themselves. 113 Suicide Prevention is reachable 24/7.
Students who are struggling and need to talk to someone in person can go to an @ease location in Amsterdam (please check the opening times). Fellow students will be there for you to listen and offer a helping hand. If you need further support, @ease volunteers can help you find the right professional help.
The Blijf Groep (in Dutch Kenniscentrum Eer & Veiligheid) offers help and advice to persons dealing with (the threat of) honor-related violence. The employees of the Blijf Group are specialized in recognizing signs of honor-related violence. They know the problems and sensitivities victims may have to deal with. They think along with them about solutions and take into account the bond that victims feel with their families. The staff of the Blijf Group will hold a walk-in consultancy at VU Amsterdam (room HG 0E.71A in the main building).
Are you a victim, know someone who is (potentially) a victim, or are you abusive or violent yourself? You can call Safety at Home for advice and support regarding domestic violence and child abuse.
Safety at Home is there for children, young people, adults, and the elderly, whether you are a victim, know someone who is or may be a victim, or are violent yourself. Any form of violence is reason enough to call. Domestic violence and child abuse are common, at all ages and in all cultures. If you are a victim, you are not alone.
You can call for advice or help. An employee will listen to your story attentively and answer your questions and give you advice. They can also help you determine whether professional help is needed, and which help is best. If you are in doubt, you can also call anonymously for advice.
Addiction, Sex, and Harassment
For questions related to sex, STIs, or safe sex. Sense, for everything you need to know and all your questions about sex, love, and relationships.
For questions related to drugs, visit Drugs Info. On the website of Drugs Info, you can find all information about drugs. If you have a question or want to chat about drugs you can contact them as well.
Were you recently sexually assaulted or raped? Do you need help or do you have questions? They can help and are there for you day and night. At the Sexual Assault Center, a team of doctors, nurses, police officers, psychologists, social workers, and sex therapists work together to provide specialist care to victims of sexual assault and rape. Ideally, they like to provide professional help within seven days after the event, as this time frame reduces the chances of medical and psychological issues considerably. The police also have a much better chance of finding the perpetrator if forensic investigations are carried out within a week of the event. Call the sexual assault center and they will put you in touch with a center nearby. It is important that you contact them as soon as possible after the assault or rape so that they can help you as best they can. Everything you discuss with them is treated confidentially.
Are you experiencing problems because of an addiction to alcohol, drugs, medication, gambling, or gaming? Novadic Kentron offers a new chance at a happier and healthier life. At NK, they focus on your own strengths and on what you want and can do for yourself. You are in charge of your own life. NK is there to help you reach your goals. There is help available from treatments but also support from experienced workers. Novadic Kentron is a dynamic organization with loyal, professional, and involved staff members. Whether it is about prevention, short or specialized treatments, or intensive care and guidance, Novadic Kentron is there for you.