Kids helpline starts taking calls from young adults

Many students and young people have been deeply affected by the coronavirus crisis. A new helpline will now offer a sympathetic ear to those who are finding lockdown a bit overwhelming. But money problems and heartbreak are just as likely topics for discussion.

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The Everything Okay? Support Line is an initiative of De Kindertelefoon. Normally, this helpline only takes calls from children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18. But the organisation thinks that it might be nice for young adults to have such conversations, too.

Call or chat

For this reason, from now on, all those aged 18 to 24 who need to talk to someone will be able to speak with a trained volunteer. Calls will be taken every day between 2.00 and 10.00 pm; it’s free and everything is kept anonymous. And for those who still find calling a bit too scary, there’s also a chat option.

Calls don’t necessarily have to deal with coronavirus issues, although of course that is certainly allowed. “You can discuss anything with us”, it says on the website. “No topic is too weird or strange, no problem too big or too small.” A list of possible topics gives an idea of the range of issues: love, drugs, stress, gender, school, rows, money, work and much more.

Student well-being

Since the start of the pandemic much attention has been paid to student well-being. Study after study has concluded that students are being subjected to additional mental pressures. They are spending a lot of time alone in a (small) room, and often feel gloomy and anxious.

Last month, for example, the Social and Cultural Planning Office rang the alarm. According to researchers, by the end of 2020 a third of students and pupils indicated “low psychological well-being”, while in preceding years this figure was about a quarter.

However, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has not actually seen a significant rise in the number of young people with mental health problems. Against all expectations, that figure remained the same throughout 2020, the first year of the coronavirus crisis.

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