APH 1998, 56, 63-79:

Mental health care for students in higher education.

A. Clara

Keywords: adolescence, mental health, student

The University Mental Health Centre of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (UDGG) is one of the 7 Flemish mental health centres (mhc) in Brussels which work on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

The UDGG is mainly consulted by students between the ages of 18 and 25, who account for more than half of the patient population.

A description of this consulting student population is given and compared to the general population consulting the Flemish mhc.

- Mental disorders do not occur more frequently in a student population than in a general population of the same age, but  the problems for which students consult are often related to their developmental stage and particular social and professional position.
- Anxiety is often a reason for consulting and anxiety disorders are diagnosed more often than in a general population.
- Few students consult for a problem, of substance abuse.
- First year students and female students are overrepresented in the population consulting the UDGG compared to the university population.
- Male students and foreign students are overrepresented in the population consulting the psychiatrist.
- Most students consult on their own initiative and more often at the start of the academic year.
- Treatment is usually brief and on an individual basis.