The current coronavirus emergency can evoke many different types of emotions, says Roos Schelvis, an HR policy officer and researcher at EUR. “Some people may feel they are finally able to focus on things, while others may suffer anxiety and stress. We established OpenUp last Friday for those people. This service can help people overcome all sorts of mental health issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. Just imagine having your own psychologist on speed dial.”

OpenUp, a subsidiary of iPractice, can also be used by people who do not receive a salary from EUR but who do work here, such as external PhD candidates. People who wish to schedule a consultation with a psychologist can do so online. The online intake interview (with or without webcam images) will take 25 minutes.

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“The psychologists will take a personalised approach to your worries”, says Schelvis. “Perhaps you’ll only need one consultation, and perhaps you’ll need two, or more.” If you need long-term help, your general practitioner or company doctor will refer to you to another psychologist, possibly through iPractice.

Not a new idea

Improving employees’ mental health is a top priority for both the university’s Executive Board and the HR department. Schelvis has been working on this project since November. “I discussed a potential collaboration with iPractice as far back as December.”

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EUR employees can find advice, tips and various types of help through the MyEUR portal. For instance, the portal provides the contact details of several work-life balance coaches with whom the university has concluded agreements. “These coaches can help you determine how to structure your day now that you are working from home, or how to work more efficiently.”

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