A number of students at SSRE had been contemplating the idea of bringing mental health issues more into the open for some time already. “You realize that you sometimes find yourself in a situation you can’t get out of, or you see someone in your social circle trying to cope with something. A few of us started to talk about ways to deal with this, and one thing soon led to another,” SSRE member Tom van der Kraats says. The fresh master’s student Applied Physics sat down with six other SSRE members and together they came up with the podcast series ‘Mentalitijd'.
Depressions and addictions
“Each episode deals with a different topic, which we discuss with a specialist in that particular research field or with someone from TU/e. One episode, for example, deals with depressions and burn-outs, and we also want to record a podcast on alcohol problems and addictions and on the impact of corona on students.” Kraats says that he also really enjoys working on the project with students in various academic fields. “We have a psychology student in our group as well as a Sustainable Innovation student, and I myself study physics. This automatically leads to different perspectives on the topics, which will all be heard.”
The students have by now already recorded the first podcast. “We talked to Lara Hofstra, Student Diversity Officer at TU/e, in this podcast. We asked her about the things she deals with in her daily practice with regard to mental health issues, and about how diversity plays a role. We talked about the gender ratio on the work floor and whether that can lead to mental health problems.”
Not much awareness among students
When he recorded the first podcast, Van der Kraats immediately noticed that TU/e puts a great deal of effort in bringing mental health issues into the open, but that students aren’t aware, or hardly aware, of this. “That is why we want to provide our listeners with a few tips at the end of each episode on where they can turn to with their issues and on what they can actively do when they suffer from certain problems.”
The first episodes of the podcast series will be launched in mid-September. “We first want to record a few episodes and then launch them, so that we can build continuity.” The students can’t say at this point for how long the project will run.