Mental health therapy for students with depression

As we have published on our website a while ago, there now are more mental health complaints among young people aged 18-34 than ever! This means that many students are in need of (urgent) help. At HelloDoc Health we are specialised in providing mental health and primary care services to international students and expats.

The Dutch Student Union (LSVb) concludes from a survey of 1100 students that over half of the students (>50%) suffer from psychological complaints during their studies! Stress, fatigue and depression are the most common. Do you recognize these complaints? The study shows that you are not alone! On this page, you can read what depression is exactly, what you can do about it and whether your health insurer will reimburse healthcare costs.

What is a depression?

Almost everyone has a bad day once in a while, you are grumpy, sad and really don’t want to get out of the bed or off the couch. This happens to all of us, and it is okay because we know that our normal feelings will automatically replace the dip. However, it could be possible that you are not able to get rid of this feeling anymore. This could affect your study, social contacts or hobbies negatively. Perhaps your dip is gradually changing into depression.

A person who is dealing with depression suffers from a severe gloomy feeling. This gloomy feeling is not leaving this person within a few days but lasts for at least two weeks. Another result of depression is the effect it has on your day-to-day life; you cannot study as you were before, and daily tasks are more difficult.

Symptoms of a depression

Below are the most common symptoms of a depression:

  1. Anxiety, depression and stress are common to you.
  2. Being gloomy and/or irritated during the day, (almost) every day.
  3. Feeling sad, empty, alone and hopeless can also occur.
  4. Reduced appetite or eating excessive amounts of food.
  5. No or little interest in doing things that you normally like doing, not enjoying things that you could enjoy before (no longer feel like going out, exercising, having drinks and/or sex).
  6. Physical complaints without a clear cause.
  7. Uneasy feeling and difficulty sitting still.
  8. Sleeping badly or sleeping a lot.
  9. Feeling tired regularly or having a lack of energy.
  10. Feeling guilty or having a sense of worthlessness.
  11. Recurring thoughts of death and suicide.

Do you recognize some of these symptoms (up to four) and do you suffer from these for a few days already? You will probably have a (heavy) dip.

Do you suffer from five or more of the symptoms listed above for at least two weeks? Then you probably suffer from depression: it is wise to contact a student psychologist or general practitioner at HelloDoc Health. We are specialised in providing mental health prevention and therapy to international students.

What can you do against your depression or mental dip?

Tips against a dip

  • Ensure sufficient movement, go out for sports, fitness or go for a walk outside. Try to walk at least one or per day or tow times 30 minutes (preferably in a park, forest, beach or national park).
  • Get some regularity in your life; sleep sufficient (not too much and not too little).
  • Do not use drugs and use little to no alcohol; alcohol and drugs can make your symptoms worse.
  • Talk to someone (for example, with a friend, parents, family, confidant, general practitioner, student psychologist) about your dip/depression. You can always to to a GP or psychologist at HelloDoc Health!

See a student psychologist

At HelloDoc Health we have multilingual student psychologists with a lot of experience with students’ problems and they have many great tips and advice that apply to students. You can book a mental health consult online at HelloDoc Health.

See a general practitioner

A multilingual general practitioner at HelloDoc Health not only helps with physical complaints, they also deal with psychological problems. Your doctor can help you or, if necessary, refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Please see: General practitioner (GP) for international students in the Netherlands.

See a psychologist/psychotherapist/psychiatrist

Your doctor can refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist at HelloDoc Health. Conversations with a psychologist can be very effective against depression. The psychologist takes the time to find out what your complaints are and tries to find a solution for your problems together with you.


Medication for depression exists; however, these are prescribed for severe and long-term complaints by our GP or psychiatrist. These medications are called antidepressants. They influence substances in the brain that determine feelings and moods. More than half of the patients taking antidepressants have a decrease or a complete disappearance of the depressive symptoms.

Antidepressants can be prescribed by our general practitioner or psychiatrist at HelloDoc Health if they deem this necessary. Medications for depression are always combined with conversations with a psychologist/psychotherapist/psychiatrist; medication use alone is not an effective solution!

Student health insurance

Mental health and psychological treatments at HelloDoc Health can be (partly or fully) covered by your Dutch basic health insurance depending on your insurance package. Please contact your health insurance to check which percentage of therapy will be covered.

Counseling consults or therapy can also be covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and if you have an international student health policy with AON Student InsuranceCigna HealthBupaAxa Global HealthcareGeoBlueAllianz or another major international health insurer, then in most cases your consults and therapy at HelloDoc Health will be fully covered via reimbursement. Usually 7 to 12 consults will be covered by your international health insurer.

Except for AON Student Insurance, we have chosen not to have contracts with health insurance companies. This means that you will initially need to pay for the mental health treatment yourself and provide the invoice to your insurance, who will reimburse you according to your insurance policy. We work according to the NZA rules (Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit).

More information or book an appointment?

Would you like to discuss your mental health issues (e.g. depression, burn-out, anxiety, anger, panic, stress and/or trauma) with a multilingual mental health therapist? At HelloDoc Health we have a team of mental health specialists (psychologists, psychiatrist) that can help and treat you. So please feel free to book a consultation at HelloDoc Health! 

We are here to help you 24/7!

Recommended related articles