Students or researchers? PhD candidates fall into a category of their own. What is it like to navigate the sometimes lonely road towards a doctoral degree? In this monthly series, we put the PhDs of the University of Twente in the limelight. This episode gives the stage to Rob Bemthuis, a young academic from the Pervasive Systems Research Group.
Year 2020 brought an increase in work-related mental illness at the University of Twente, states the annual report of UT’s occupational health service ‘Arbo Unie’. On the other hand, the absenteeism rate decreased and was below the national average.
‘The university should be more proactive, not just extinguish fires,’ says P-NUT, the PhD Network of the University of Twente. It’s their reaction to the latest Arbo Unie’s Annual Review 2019, which also mentions the recommendation to ‘offer PhD students readily accessible, ongoing support’.
Psychological complaints were once again the most significant cause of absence through illness in 2019, says the annual review of the UT’s Occupational Health Service Arbo Unie. The BMS Faculty is specifically mentioned as having a high number of referrals to the psychologist.
The PhD Network of the University of Twente (P-NUT) has conducted a survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on UT doctoral candidates. Its results show that 50% of them expect delays due to mental health issues and that 75% of the respondents are less productive working from home.
A UT research team led by Matthijs Noordzij is starting a project to design ‘compassionate’ technology for mental healthcare. ‘Over a million people seek out mental healthcare in the Netherlands every year. Waiting lists are long, costs are high. Technology has been designed to help these patients, but successful implementation has proven difficult,’ explains Noordzij.
The first Mental Health Conference by ESN Twente was held yesterday in DesignLab. The international student organization dedicated the event to representing the voice of students. It introduced a series of Ted-Talk-like presentations meant to help, inform and remove the taboo around anxiety and depression.