Universiteit Leiden

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Your wellbeing

The constant uncertainty about the coronavirus is putting us all under a great deal of strain. It’s therefore understandable that you might be feeling anxious or stressed about your studies or health. On this page you can find information and tools that may be of help.

Protect your mental health with Erik Scherder

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  • Tips on staying healthy
    On our Healthy University @ Home  site you’ll find tips on how to stay healthy at home, both mentally and physically:
  • Free online programmes
    Follow an online programme through the Caring Universities initiative of the universities of Leiden, Maastricht, Utrecht and VU Amsterdam. They’re free and you’ll also receive support from an online coach.
    There are currently four programmes aimed at improving your mood, reducing stress, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing procrastination. The range of programmes is set to increase over the coming months. 
  • Caring Universities questionnaire
    In January or June you will receive a link to the Caring Universities Mind Health Check questionnaire via uMail. By completing the questionnaire you can gain insight into your mental wellbeing and receive tailored advice on possible steps to take. 
  • Staying active
    • The University Sports Centre has online tutorials that will help you stay active while studying at home.
    • Download the Ommetje-app! This allows you to take part in a walking competition with your friends, family or fellow students, motivating each other to go on a walk every day!
  • Meditation 
    Take a moment of silence, peace and relaxation for yourself. Rapenburg 100 offers free online meditation sessions for students: 

  • Walk & chat with a fellow student
    The platform 'Frisse Gedachtes' brings students together to go for a walk in or near Leiden. These 'Leiden Walks' are not only fun, but healthy as well! Register for the Leiden Walks

  • Tips against stress and a healthy workflow
    In this video student psychologist Hagar Donners explains what happens when you are stressed and how to optimize your stress system and workflow. (© PNG Tree)

What does personal effectiveness mean for you?

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With much of our teaching online and social activities outside your studies very limited, you may feel lonely or isolated at times.

  • Student Support Groups
    Join one of the Student Support Groups. You’re not alone. Sharing your experiences with other students can help. Everyone is welcome. You can register via this online form. For further information, send a mail to studentsupportgroups@sea.leidenuniv.nl.

  • Your mentor or tutor
    If you are a first-year student, contact your mentor or tutor or the other students in your mentor/tutor group. Try to keep in touch with one another, also outside meetings.

  • Connect with fellow students
    When there are no online classes to attend, it is still important to be part of a learning community. Arrange virtual study sessions with the help of the facilities offered by the university, or catch up with each other via remote coffee breaks.

Leiden University offers a buddy service for students who would like a little company and support in these difficult times. Your student buddy can provide (online) social interaction, moral support and practical tips. They can also share activities with you, such as going for walks or perhaps even swapping recipes. If you are in self-quarantine and can’t order groceries online, your buddy can do your grocery shopping up to twice a week.

  • Keep in touch
    Arrange to meet fellow students outside class to catch up. If there is someone in your class or mentor group who you haven’t seen for a while, give them a call or let us know by sending a mail to the student support services.

  • Join the Student Buddy Service
    As a student buddy, you will provide a fellow student with (online) support, company and social interaction. You can also share activities, such as going for walks or perhaps even swapping recipes. If your buddy has to go into self-quarantine, you can help out by, for example, doing their grocery shopping a couple of times a week. Join the Student Buddy Service.

  • Volunteer to run a Student Support Group
    We are looking for enthusiastic students to run Student Support Groups for a small remuneration. To apply, send an email to studentsupportgroups@sea.leidenuniv.nl.  

  • Send us your ideas
    If you have any good ideas to help improve our students’ wellbeing, send them to ideeenstudentenwelzijn@sea.leidenuniv.nl.  
  • Feeling worried, lonely or stressed
    You can seek help both within and outside the university:
  • Psychological support
    • Contact the student psychologists. Even though face-to-face appointments are currently not possible, the student psychologists can offer help and support online or over the phone.
    • Indigo Haaglanden offers free support if you are feeling anxious, unbalanced or depressed. No referal is required and you can have up to three sessions. Call 088-3571060 for info. 
    • On the anonymous, free online platform Frisse Gedachtes, trained psychology students and other experts are on hand to chat with you. You can decide who you want to speak to and whether this will be a one-off session or something more long term.
  • Exceptional circumstances or financial concerns
    If you are also dealing with exceptional circumstances or are encountering financial issues as a result of the corona situation, contact the student counsellors.

  • A sympathtic ear
    Call the Rapenburg100 Corona Crisis Student Support line, run by Leiden Student Ekklesia, to talk about your concerns with one of their life coaches or spiritual counsellors. They are available seven evenings a week: 071 744 0168 (from 16.00 to 18.00 and 20.00 to 22.00). 

  • Refugee, international and first-generation students
    The Meeting Point can offer additional support and advice.

  • Prefer to speak to someone at your faculty or not sure who to turn to? 
    • Talk to your study adviser. Even if your concerns aren’t directly related to your studies, he/she can help you find the right support.
    • If you are a first-year student, talk to your mentor or tutor about the problems you are facing, even if you think that they are ‘only’ minor problems. Mentors can offer advice on the basis of their own experience or refer you to the support that you need.  

Urgent situations

If you need urgent psychological help, contact your GP. Outside office hours, you can contact the ‘Out of hours doctor’s post’ in Leiden  or The Hague.

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