In 2017, the Rectorate team of the mdw charged Dagny Schreiner with the task of establishing the Psycho-Social Support Centre for students of the University. Schreiner went about selecting a team of counsellors in collaboration with Gerda Müller, Vice Rector for Organisational Development, Gender & Diversity, as well as hmdw representatives Kinga Schleicher (chair) and Martin Furch (office manager). The two Psycho-Social Support Centre therapists whom they eventually selected were Evelyn Jahn and Alexander Parte, who have since then been working to help students resolve personal and studies-related difficulties as well as situations of interpersonal conflict. Anxiety in all of its many facets and accompanying symptoms is quite frequently the reason why students decide to seek professional help in the form of counselling.

The Centre for Further Education also features offerings (in the form of workshops) that support individuals in building up their own resources, helping themselves deal with difficult situations, and learning the basics of intelligent conflict management. Anxiety is okay—but one shouldn’t let it cause paralysis, for which reason measures aimed at empowerment are intended to ease the anxiety about anxiety itself so that one can remain capable of action. A uniform mix of all categories of individuals attached to the mdw—from teaching and administrative staff as well as students—is now making use of this range of offerings.

It was in 2017 that the Centre for Further Education launched the mdw’s discourse on this topic by introducing this Support Centre, doing so under the heading: “It’s okay to talk about it.” A special focus in March 2019 will be “When Food Becomes a Problem”, and a longer-term effort—widely participated in by representatives of all relevant areas at the University—is underway to develop a concept for crisis and conflict resolution. Here, as well, assistance in acute situations is complemented above all by prevention through empowerment (orientational knowledge, skill in the use of various methods, and good social networking).

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