Healthy Brain Approach

The corona crisis affects us all. As VU lecturers and student advisers, but perhaps also as parents, we see the impact on the psychological well-being of students. Research also shows that students experience more loneliness and depression. What can you do as a teacher to really reach students? To ask in a safe way how they really feel? Can you give them exercises for which there is scientific evidence of a positive effect on psychological wellbeing?

Increase student wellbeing

Dr. Hylke Vervaeke, lecturer in neurobiology at the VU Beta Faculty (Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)) has developed the Healthy Brain lecture series in cooperation with Amsterdam University College (AUC). This series contains a number of low-threshold ‘homework exercises’, so you can actively work on your own psychological wellbeing from home.

Part 1: Healthy Brain by Hylke Vervaeke – Introduction

Part 2: Healthy Brain by Hylke Vervaeke – Increasing Peak Performance

Part 3a: Healthy Brain by Hylke Vervaeke – Increasing Well-being

Part 3b: Healthy Brain by Hylke Vervaeke – The Gratitude Letter

Part 4: Healthy Brain by Hylke Vervaeke – Increasing Well-being

You can also watch the complete lecture series in the Student Wellbeing playlist on the VU NT&L video channel.

Online Workshop – Healthy Brain Approach

In January this year, Hylke Vervaeke gave an online workshop on the Healthy Brain Approach from the VU Education Workshop. Watch the recording of this workshop on the VU NT&L video channel.

The reactions of Hylke’s students are for 90% extremely positive. They feel recognized and involved:

"I also want to point out that the Healthy Brain assignments are amazing. I think it helped at least some of us improve our mental state and I want to give special thanks for this :)"
"Question hours with Hylke and the bonus assignment were also nice to keep in mind the importance of our mental health."
"I just wanted to thank you for these exercises. It is rare to find someone who asks you once in a while how you are doing, and I think it is really valuable. I can say from my part that I really needed something like this. These times have not been easy, and it is very nice that a teacher actually acknowledges that. So, Thank you very much."