The Coronavirus is turning our world upside down. To prevent student’s wellbeing from being turned upside down as well, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) has created an online platform Are you OK out there?. Students will find a sympathetic ear in the form of our 'Students4Students' helpline, as well as activities to boost their wellbeing.
Tools to improve online learning skills, reliable modules and services on mental wellbeing, physical exercises, activities for social wellbeing and a helpline for those looking for a listening ear. This and more, is offered on Are you OK out there?. Several people from different departments within EUR worked very hard in the past few days to create this platform for EUR students.
All initiatives on student wellbeing in one place
A quick inventory among students revealed that they need a central place that bundles wellbeing initiatives from students, student associations, and departments within EUR. “The platform Are you OK out there? gives a clear overview of tips, information and activities to boost student’s wellbeing”, says Rianne van der Zanden, programme manager Student Wellbeing.
Wellbeing domains relate to each other
Wellbeing can be divided into five domains: cognitive, mental, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing. Within these domains, methodologies and interventions have been developed, activities are being set up and research is being conducted. “We also know that the different domains are related to each other”, explains Van der Zanden. “It is known that physical activities are positively related to cognitive performance and mental wellbeing. And that mental wellbeing is related to cognitive and social wellbeing. So, if students are working on one domain, they will notice that this also affects another domain. If students combine activities from different domains, they will probably see that they can get into a positive spiral even faster.”
Make a personal wellbeing plan
Students are invited to compile a personal wellbeing plan with activities from two or three domains. One’s wellbeing plan may be completely different from that of fellow students and friends. To promote connectedness, students can share plans with each other. After a few days of perseverance, it becomes clear whether the plan fits the student’s needs, upon which a student can continue or adjust his or her personal plan.
Are you OK out there? is part of the EUR programme on Student Wellbeing and will be continued after the corona crisis. Van der Zanden: “In these times of crisis, it is absolutely important for students to reflect on their own wellbeing and to get started with the different aspects of it. But the attention for the subject remains important as students increasingly experience stress! The visit of Minister Van Engelshoven just last January, in which student wellbeing was a key topic, underlines this once more.”