Studierendenwerke NRW: Students very stressed!

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The counseling centers of the Studierendenwerke in NRW have noticed increasing stress and crises among students since the beginning of the Corona pandemic. "The longer the crisis lasts and the students experience a strong social reduction due to the contact restrictions, the more difficult and complex the individual crises become," says psychologist Annika Demming. She is a psychological counselor at Kölner Studierendenwerk and coordinator of the counseling and social services network of the Studierendenwerke in NRW.

Students suffer particularly dramatically from the exceptional situation that has lasted for months if there were already financial, social or psychological impairments before the pandemic. In the counseling centers, the multiple problem situations have increased. Foreign students are a special group of people in the counseling centers, who often lack a supportive environment and the ongoing contact restrictions also prevent the establishment of the same.

The counselors agree that mental stress is becoming worse due to the current circumstances. Social relief is missing and the isolation of many students is increasing. Students with mental stress have a much harder time - especially when there are problems with self-direction and structuring.

The advisors also have the impression that students still feel left alone when it comes to finances. BAföG and bridging assistance are not nearly enough to help all students.

In the view of Jörg J. Schmitz, spokesman of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Studierendenwerke NRW, politics should provide more support: "The effects of the Corona pandemic have many dimensions for students: financial, social, professional. It could be that quite a few students will have to discontinue their studies, and yet others will not even be willing to begin "because of Corona"."

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