MAASTRICHT. Waiting times for an appointment with a student psychologist have been reduced considerably compared to this time last year. Students then had to wait three weeks, which is now three working days. Mieke Janssen, team leader for the UM psychologists and student psychologist Liesbeth Mouha reported this last week during a University Council committee meeting.
Mouha believes that the reduction is largely due to the fact that the Student Service Centre (SSC) now offers lectures, workshops and training sessions for groups. “They were already in place last year, but students find them more easily now. Most of them are already fully booked for the coming months. Last year we have promoted our sessions on the SSC's Facebook and Instagram page.”
The sessions offered focus in particular on prevention, Mouha explains. “The lectures – for example on ‘Resilience’ – help us reach a large group of students. For students who are looking for something more specific, there are workshops or training sessions. These include a ‘Boost your self-confidence’ workshop and a training course on perfectionism.”
From April onwards, we also offer consultations without an appointment with UM psychologists at the SSC and in since September also in Randwyck at UM Sports. “We then decide within ten minutes whether a follow-up appointment is necessary, if a group session could be useful, or that the student should be referred to a GP.” Many students benefit so much from a group session or consultation without appointment that they no longer need an individual appointment with the student psychologist.
Nevertheless, waiting times will not continue to be as short as they are now, Mouha expects. “When the exam periods come closer, students have more need for individual meetings with a psychologist, but I don't expect the waiting times to become longer than they were last year.”