Almost half a million Dutch young people are psychologically unhealthy in 2021: this is how you can prevent it


The number of young people with psychological problems has increased significantly during the corona crisis. This is according to a new survey by Statistics Netherlands. It concerns about 488,000 young people who experience the complaints; that’s almost half a million… The young people often felt depressed and gloomy. The question now is of course: how do you stay psychologically healthy?

The deterioration of mental health is probably related to the corona measures. Think of school closures and lockdowns. In the survey, CBS looked at how often the young people felt depressed, restless or unhappy. Nearly a quarter of girls (12 to 25 years old) are psychologically unhealthy and many young men have also developed poorer mental health.

This is how you stay psychologically healthy

Subway called ‘for tips’ with Derek de Beurs from the Trimbos Institute. He is an expert in mental health and the prevention of mental illness. For him, four things are central when it comes to maintaining our psychological health.

1. Talk about it

The corona period has of course been a very impactful time. “It was a rough time and it was not normal. It is also not surprising that the young people score so low on psychological well-being,” says De Beurs. His first tip is to talk about it a lot with each other. “What have you missed and how are you feeling? You can have conversations like this with people you trust and who you can talk to.”

2. Find your daily rhythm

Now that the corona crisis is over, some lecture halls are still empty. Most students lack a daily routine, according to the expert. “Don’t stay in your bed all day. You also don’t see anyone at all if you don’t go to these ‘obligations’.” He thinks that this phenomenon is mainly due to the corona period. “We have to rediscover it, because it is a real loss. Try to find your rhythm again.”

3. Sleep rhythm and hygiene

In addition to the daily rhythm, your sleeping rhythm is also important for your psychological health. De Beurs: “Sleep is the beginning of all psychiatry. If you don’t sleep well, this is a risk factor.” It’s not just about rhythm, but also sleep hygiene. “So don’t sit on your iPad in the dark and don’t move the times too much. Eight hours of sleep is the standard.”

4. Exercise is healthy

The last tip is to keep moving. “Several studies have shown that this is good for your mental health,” says De Beurs. “It is important to motivate yourself, something that had become more difficult due to corona. We have to pick this up again.” He cannot emphasize enough that getting outside and exercising is an important factor.

Ring the bell when necessary

It remains difficult to indicate when you are psychologically unhealthy, De Beurs agrees. “You can recognize it if your daily functioning starts to suffer. When you no longer enjoy anything.” This applies if it plays for a longer time, think about two weeks. “When everything you do takes effort and you can no longer visit your work or friends, it is time to go to the doctor.

In addition to the general practitioner, other tips can also be found on the Trimbos Institute website. A helpline is also available. “If you can’t figure it out, go to the doctor.”

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Almost half a million Dutch young people are psychologically unhealthy in 2021: this is how you can prevent it