As you may know by now, every Monday afternoon Marina meets with internationals at the ICT café. This service is meant to be the first contact point for people struggling with mental health. At the end of the session, internationals leave with a couple of insights and tips to help with the situation. They are also referred to the most suitable mental health service for their situation, which can be of great help if people would like to continue on their mental well-being journey.
In todays article we are highlighting the most common struggles at the sympathetic ear sessions:
“The studies I chose are not what I expected”. The university education system in The Netherlands is famous for being a very well prepared but also strict one. A common characteristic amongst different career paths is the amount of theory that students learn. This can be not only overwhelming but also disappointing, since people in university are eager to develop professionally and enter the work arena.
“I don´t share my struggles with my family because I don´t want to worry them”. Studying abroad doesn´t always come easy. To the study fees, there’s the rent, groceries, activities and travel costs to add. It is common to experience some guilt or shame when we’re procrastinating or when we’re not achieving the results we want.
“I have to make a decision after graduation and I don´t know what to do”. During school and university the path seems to be clear: study. However when we reach the last year, it’s understandable to feel scared about uncertainty. Also the pressure to make a decision when we don´t know what we want next, can add further stress to a changing life period (they are already stressful on their own) that’s about to happen.
“I would love to have more meaningful connections in Tilburg”. Loneliness is probably the most common struggle for international people. If we add to that a global pandemic, chances are that it hasn’t been easy to establish relationships in your new country. The desire to have meaningful connections is a legitimate and important one, especially when living abroad. It can also be considered as a need that should be addressed.
At the sympathetic ear we offer a safe space for people to express and let go how they’re feeling. As Matt Haig said: “something that can often be eased by talking”. After that, Marina will usually suggest an action plan as well as some tips to manage the stress until the decisions have to be made. If you feel related to any of them, do not hesitate to book a session with Marina in order to share your experience and receive some professional advice for it. Also, if you have a question or suggestion, we’d love to hear it from you!
See you soon,
The Mental Health Team