Great need for help: In the psychological counseling centers of the Berliner Studierendenwerk, the demand is again increasing significantly. In addition to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine is now also causing uncertainty among many students, said Irina Theisen, head of the psychological-psychotherapeutic counseling center, of the German Press Agency.

“Among the clients there are now many Ukrainian students who are worried about their families at home, for example,” says the psychologist.

“But many Russian students also come to us, for example because they are afraid of discrimination,” said Theisen. Many also have money problems because parents can no longer transfer anything to them.

Other students, on the other hand, would have financed medicines for sick family members at home. Due to the sanctions, that is no longer easily possible.

The effects of the corona pandemic are also still clearly noticeable, said the psychologist. Depressive moods are still the main problem for most student clients, followed by self-esteem problems. “Many of them have only spent their entire study time online. That left its mark.”

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The number of students who are afraid to speak in front of others has also increased. The postponement of work to be done is also increasing. In some cases, problems such as anxiety or eating disorders have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

According to Theisen, the 18 experts in the two advisory centers of the Studierendenwerk were always personally available, even during the pandemic. This is particularly important in times of crisis.

In addition, various new workshops and group therapy offers have now been created. “These also have an anti-loneliness effect. People network with each other and new friendships develop,” reported Theisen.

In the past year, students took up around 9,100 hours of counseling from the psychological-psychotherapeutic counseling centers.