Symposium "Studying with mental illness: Current findings and need for action on the way to an inclusive university"

Published on 16. November 2023

Mental illness is by far the most common form of impairment among students with disabilities or chronic illnesses. At Bielefeld University, almost 60% of students with a disability or chronic illness state that they are affected by a mental illness. Mental illness has a particularly detrimental effect on studies. Almost 84% of affected students report that their illness affects their studies to a moderate to very high degree.

The ZAB had the opportunity to gain new ideas on this topic at the last symposium of the Informations- und Beratungsstelle Studium und Behinderung (IBS) des Deutschen Studierendenwerks (DSW) [Information and Advice Center for Studies and Disability of the Deutsches Studierendenwerk] in Berlin. In practical forums and panels, e.g. on current study conditions, networking opportunities for peers at universities or recruitment conditions for future civil servants, current challenges were discussed, solutions exchanged and future scenarios developed. The topic of prevention was also discussed in depth with contributions on well-being and mental health among students.

Students with mental illness can obtain confidentially information on disability-related support options during their studies from the ZAB student advisory service. Teaching staff who are in contact with students with mental illness can confidentially contact the representative for students with disabilities or chronic illness if they have any questions, difficulties or suggestions.