Last week, The Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education SIHO launched a new digital online platform for students called MoodSpace. The platform is commissioned by the Flemish government and aims to provide tips and self-help to students who are struggling with mental health issues.
Covid-19 measures have not proven to be the easiest times for students and combined with exams, mental health issues such as stress and loneliness are almost becoming the norm for these young people. MoodSpace does not only offer information about mental health problems but also provides the opportunity for students to connect with their peers who are suffering from the same issues.
Designed for students
Tom Van Daele is a clinical psychologist and head of the unit Psychology, Technology & Society at Thomas More University of Applied Sciences. He was part of the research team behind MoodSpace and emphasizes the importance of providing this online tool for students.
‘Online formats can be an interesting addition to the existing range of helping tools concerning mental health care. They are accessible and anonymous, giving students the opportunity to learn more about the experiences of others and it may even be the first step to get started themselves.’
According to Van Daele, MoodSpace has been designed specifically for students, making the means of communication and content very age-specific. ‘Although there are many online mental health sources, there was not really much to be found online that was exactly tailored for students. For example, the language use and examples or situations in self-help modules consistently match the living environment of people aged eighteen to twenty-five. MoodSpace also focuses very strongly on ensuring that the platform meets the needs and wishes of students, which is a great added value for the tool itself and its users.’
Text: Charlotte Ariën, final editor: Renske Van Hoof
Image: Jeswin Thomas via Unsplash