Since this episode is about the stigma surrounding mental health, Friso and Erin kick things off by talking about how they themselves are doing. While Friso is less forgetful and is, on the whole, doing better now that exams are over, Erin continues to struggle, both physically and mentally, as she recovers from an accident.
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‘Too much mental health care’
They then discuss the comments of State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen, who has said that ‘young people are receiving too much mental health care’. Friso is amazed by the large number of young people suffering from mental health problems (almost half of them), and Erin voices her concerns about the State Secretary’s statement. “If a state secretary publicly says to ‘stop seeing your psychologist’, and the newspaper headlines repeat this, this is going to have an effect on people. And vulnerable people in particular are more likely to start doubting themselves. They might start thinking: is my mental health poor enough that I deserve to go to a psychologist?”
The conversation subsequently turns to the binding study advice and the proposal to lower the requirement from 60 to 30 credits. The idea behind the proposal is that a lower binding study advice should reduce the workload for students. The council members are both worried about the high study pressure and its potential consequences. They point out that the binding study advice is not the only cause of pressure and that other factors, such as performance pressure and personal problems, also play a role. More openness and support for students could help with this.
The episode ends with a call to help each other and not to be embarrassed to seek help.