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Psychological help and support for students and members of universities

Without doubt, the present happenings – the Corona pandemic and the subsequent restrictions as well as the recent attack in Vienna –  is an extraordinary challenge and strain for all people in Austria.

The individual reactions and coping strategies depend on different factors, not least one’s own personal consternation by those incidents, living conditions, support by family and the close social environment. Some people might even be made insecure by media and press reports or the exchange via social media, the extent is very individual and may be elevated or reduced.

Every psychological reaction to that is totally normal and understandable as people are affected differently by extremely stressful incidents
This can result in feelings of irreality, desorientation, and even fear responses. As long as these symptoms wear off within hours or days, this is completely normal. If you feel there is not enough support from the social environment, you should seek external support and help.

What can support students in this situation?

  1. Accept support offered or seek it in your social environment: It is important that you can talk to someone immediately after the incident and feel in safe hands. For example, talk to confidants about how you experience the present situation or have experienced it so far.
     
  2. Maintain everyday habits. It is advisable, for example, to countinue one’s daily routines best possible, and to maintain or develop routines for walks, currently permitted sport activities. Thus, a return to normality will be possible.   
     
  3. Be attentive to your needs: Do not overload yourself. Silence, relaxation and physical exercise should be integrated in your daily agendas in equal parts.
     
  4. Critically reflect information presented on Social Media: Rather use secured information given by official institutions (for example Ministries or police). Facts convey a feeling of security and orientation.

    You can check easily yourself how to tell facts from fake, with these 3 tipps:
    -    Inquire: Who is the information from?
    -    Check: Who is the source of the information?
    -    Research: Have official institutions or reliable media already declared the information as wrong?  


    -    The Austria Press Agecy, for instance, runs its own fact blog that regularly checks the validity of news and messages: https://apa.liveblog.pro/apa/blogs/5e58fb77f97dbf17ad0e4e07/index.html  

Do not hesitate to seek psychological help, if you get the feeling you cannot cope with the situation alone any more.

For students, the Psychological Counseling for students is available in Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt via telephone, email oder via online-chat: https://www.studierendenberatung.at/ 

Further institutions that provide help:  

  • Psychiatrische Soforthilfe für Wien (psychiatric emergencies)
    Phone: +43 1 31330
     
  • Notfallpsychologischer Dienst Österreich (psychological emergencies)
    Phone: +43 699 188 554 00
     
  • Kriseninterventionszentrum (help with crisis)
    Phone: +43 1 406 95 95
     
  • Traumahilfe Österreich (help with trauma)
    Phone: +43 1 413 0044
     
  • Helpline des Bundesverband Österreicher Psychologinnen (psychological helpline)
    Phone: +43 1 504 8000