The facts are alarming: The number of students suffering from mental illnesses requiring treatment has increased dramatically over the past years. For many of those affected, reluctance to seek professional help continues to be high. In addition, there is a lack of suitable options. RWTH Aachen, together with the University of Applied Sciences Aachen (FH Aachen), would like to stem this tide by expanding its service offerings: At the Center for Mental Health (ZPG) for students and postgraduates, a team made up of psychiatrists, psychotherapists and social workers is available at short notice; i.e., without any waiting periods, for professional help with all mental problems and crisis events. Upon request, this service can also be provided in English.
RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg: "An excellent education requires not only professional qualification, but also the development of a stable personality."
At today’s official opening ceremony, Ernst Schmachtenberg greeted the ZPG as a useful und necessary complement to the other support services of the University: "An excellent education requires not only professional qualification, but also the development of a stable personality. For this to happen, it is sometimes necessary to overcome life crises in a reflective way."
For Marcus Baumann, Rector of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, the ZPG with its information and advising service also provides an opportunity to raise the awareness among students and postgraduates of their physical and mental health. The stress of studying, and also later on in professional life, is extremely high. So it is essential to manage one’s work-life balance and take the first signs of illness seriously."
ZPG provides free-of-charge and confidential advice during mental crises and illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or addiction.
The ZPG will provide support if anxiety, depression or addiction define everyday life. Consultations are available free of charge to students and postgrads from all faculties at both institutions. The content of all discussions will be kept confidential. The new advising service is hosted by the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at University Hospital Aachen.
Professor Frank Schneider, the Director of the department, explains: "Everyone will experience stress at some time during his or her life. But if it makes you sick, it makes sense to seek professional support in a timely manner. At the ZPG, we can offer such support in the arena of psychiatry and psychotherapy. Mental illnesses have meanwhile become well treatable."