Amsterdam Fashion Academy and @ease start a collaboration to support students’ emotional well-being through the pandemic
Amsterdam Fashion Academy is committed to provide its students with support at any level: from offering personal attention inside the classroom to emotional well-being support through the Personal Development Plan programme.
There is no denying that the past two years have been extraordinary for all of us, both in our personal experiences related to the pandemic but also in our educational experiences. Students have shown great resilience and adaptability and have, under difficult circumstances, managed to successfully complete their projects.
However, struggles with mental wellness are a reality and for this reason Amsterdam Fashion Academy started a collaboration with @ease, a Netherlands-based organisation that helps young people (12 to 25 years old) who struggle with any mental health issues with anonymous and free appointments or online chats.
This collaboration led to a series of three interactive lunch talks inside the Amsterdam Fashion Academy during which they discuss with our students about: study stress and procrastination; cultural barriers; loneliness and social isolation.
“At @ease you can simply walk in or chat online: anonymously, without an appointment and for free. Many young people talk to us about stress, loneliness, depression, insecurities, drug abuse, an unsafe home situation or something else. Taking the first step to talk about your problems is quite difficult for most people. You want to solve it yourself or you don’t dare to talk to friends or family about it. Then it can be comfortable to talk to a stranger without feeling any obligations. That is possible at @ease: we are happy to listen to you and your story remains safe”, explains Christianne Westdijk from @ease. “We are also happy to collaborate with Amsterdam Fashion Academy. It’s really positive and valuable that you create space for mental wellness at the Academy”.
As mentioned on @ease’s website, it is well known that 75% of all psychological problems begin under the age of 25. Even though there are good forms of assistance, only 30% of youngsters with psychological problems receive help at the right time. The threshold for getting help is quite often too high. Many youngsters feel ashamed, don’t know where to ask for help, or must stay on a waiting list for a long time. Furthermore, it’s also difficult to get help when your symptoms come and go and can’t be diagnosed (yet).
“We are glad to welcome our students in a healthy and safe environment at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy, one where they can feel supported and taken care of, to be able to comfortably manage their personal and academic commitment, while successfully dealing with daily stress and pressure”, comments Cristiano Carciani, Head of School at Amsterdam Fashion Academy.
Amsterdam Fashion Academy support its students through a continued programme of Personal Development Planning (PDP) sessions. Behaviour matters in business. The way we ourselves behave and how we respond to types of behaviour around us. PDP is a structured and supported process that provides students the chance to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. Students have expressed appreciation of the PDP programme and ongoing support for their educational progress and mental wellbeing. The introduction of PDP to run alongside the curriculum has engaged students with support sessions that focus on growth mindset, mental wellbeing, critical thinking, fake news, developing inclusive practices, reflective practice, academic integrity, internship preparation.