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Mental health leave adopted by 39 Taiwan universities

Reporter Jamie Lin Pinzon
Release time:2024/02/27 18:21
Last update time:2024/02/27 18:21
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In the fall semester of 2023, 39 universities in Taiwan introduced mental health leave policies, with four additional schools planning to follow suit in the subsequent semester, the Ministry of Education's latest data shows.

According to a survey by the Taiwan Counseling Psychologist Union, junior students are experiencing the highest levels of pressure, particularly in the post-pandemic college environment.

 

Hu Yen-wei, executive director of the Taiwan Counseling Psychologist Union, highlighted the impact of the pandemic on junior students, noting that their college experience began amid the pandemic, leading to reduced interaction due to online classes.

Concerns persist regarding the implementation of mental health leave, including fears of stigma and the potential for abuse, such as using it as an excuse to skip classes. However, National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) has reported no issues with abuse since becoming the first university in Taiwan to adopt the policy in 2021.

During the fall semester of 2022, NSYSU recorded 662 instances of mental health leave, and 601 in the first half of the subsequent semester. NSYSU does not impose limits on the number of mental health leaves students can take, citing the ability to more effectively monitor students' mental well-being.
 

Hsiao Chih-hsien, a counseling psychologist at NSYSU, explained that the university has procedures in place to support students who frequently take mental health leave, including offering counseling or medical resources.

While the intention behind mental health leave policies is commendable, there is a need for guidance to prevent potential abuse and ensure students use the leave appropriately.
 

The Taiwan Briefing

#Taiwan#universities#mental health leave#junior students#pandemic#depression#NSYSU#counseling psychologist#policies
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