Student Counsellor

On this page you will find information on the following topics

  • Individual support
     
  • Group offer
     
  • Self help (will be communicated soon)
     
  • Looking for a different kind of help or support?
     
  • In urgent need of help or support?
     

Contact the student counsellor

  • Book your appointment here
     

  • By phone: +32 (0)2 213 42 43
     

  • Email: vera.van.mierlo@ehb.be
     

  • Office: Kleine Zavel 5, room 364.c
     

Vera Van Mierlo
Vera Van Mierlo
Student Counsellor & Ombuds

Individual support

What can the student counsellor do for me?

Haven’t been feeling so good about yourself lately? The studying isn’t going the way you’d want it to? Everything seems too much and you have no idea where to start? Or are you just looking for someone to talk to?

You are not alone and you are not on your own.

Vera Van Mierlo is a master in psychology with many years of experience as a student counsellor. The student counsellor will listen, counsel and work with you to find the best way we can support you. You can talk about whatever is having an impact on your personal well-being and/or your study performance.

You can talk to her in confidence about matters such as:
  • Personal challenges and problems
  • Ongoing and/or inexplicable sadness or moodiness, sudden bouts of crying 
  • Difficulties concentrating or motivating yourself, feelings of lethargy and apathy 
  • Questions about study methods and study skills
  • Outbursts of anger, feeling angry or aggressive most of the time 
  • Disturbances or significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns 
  • Procrastination, fear of failure, low self-confidence, perfectionism, …
  • How to cope with stress
  • Alcohol and drug use 
  • Hyperactive behaviour, racing thoughts, not being able to find a sense of calm or peace 
  • Questions about studying with a disability (specific web page to be communicated soon) 
  • Studying in special circumstances (e.g. pregnancy, working and studying)
  • Feelings of loneliness or social isolation
  • Wanting to hurt yourself or actively hurting yourself
  • Thoughts about no longer wanting to be here, thoughts about suicide
  • Excessive worrying 
  • Bullying behaviours 
  • Relational transgression. You can also have a confidential talk with our designated confidential counsellors Annemie De Rouck and Joeri Van den Brande about such matters
  • … 
Studentenbegeleider KCB

How can I make an appointment?

Booking an appointment is made easy in the online calendar. 

Do you prefer to book another way? Call +32 (0)2 213 42 43 or send an email to vera.van.mierlo@ehb.be.

You can choose between an online meeting (Microsoft Teams/Zoom) or a meeting in the office (Kleine Zavel 5, 364.c). 

The student counsellor is available*:

  • Weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays from 09h30 – 16h30
  • Bi-weekly on Thursdays from 09h30 -16h30

* Deviations are possible. You can always consult the availability in the online calendar

Group offer

NEW - Anti-procrastination workshop 

Feeling unable to stick to your study schedule? Getting stressed and feeling guilty because you postpone tasks? You will learn all about the different factors that perpetuate procrastination. You will learn to recognize (and stop falling for) your distractions and excuses, as well as get useful tips and tricks. Given by student counsellor Erik Chabert from STUVO Student Services EhB. 

Register yourself through e-mail: vera.van.mierlo@ehb.be

Thursday March 24th 2022 from 12.30 - 13.30 / Kleine Zavel 5 - room 042 

Study planning

How can I make a good planning?  What sort of routine works for me? You will create a personal weekly plan that works during this hands-on workshop.

Thursday March 17th 2022 from 10.00 - 11.30 / Kleine Zavel 5 - room 174

Register yourself through e-mail: vera.van.mierlo@ehb.be

Stress and I: on the path to change 

We will practice some strategies and techniques in a small group that you can later use by yourself. You will gain insight into how stress, coping and resilience 'works' and how you can take steps to create a meaningful change. 10 participants maximum.

Monday March 28 2022 from 10.30 - 12.30 / Kleine Zavel 5 - room 042

Register yourself through e-mail: vera.van.mierlo@ehb.be

Exam planning 

You’ll feel ready and well-prepared for the upcoming study and exam period after this intensive workshop! You will create a manageable planning based on your exam schedule.

Wednesday April 20th 2022 from 15.00 - 16.30 / Kleine Zavel 5 - room 174

Register yourself through e-mail: vera.van.mierlo@ehb.be

Stage fright coaching – for Bachelor 3 and Master students

Under the motto ‘more music, less tension; more fun, less stress’ you will work together with professional coach and musician Roel Hermans.

How can you clear your mind to play music instead of notes? What is the importance of perception and how can you make it work in your favor when you’re on stage? What is your mission, vision and strategy as a musician to reach your goals?
The coaching trajectory starts and ends with a group session; in between you will work in smaller groups and individually, guided by Roel, to strengthen your personal mindset so you can show the best version of yourself on stage and in auditions. 
Sessions are in English

New dates to be announced in the 2022 - 2023 academic year. 

The artist’s yoga 

Under the guidance of professional yoga instructor, singer and composer Laura Lenhardt you can participate in a weekly yoga session specifically aimed at the first and foremost ‘instrument’ of musicians and singers: the body. Laura uses a holistic approach that combines yoga postures, voice exercises and pranayama (breathing techniques). Not only will you develop a deeper awareness of your body, you will also experience positieve effects on your stress levels, physical strength, concentration and focus. The sessions can also help to relieve or prevent neck or back pain.


Where? Kleine Zavel 5, room 460
When? Tuesdays 08.45 – 10.00 starting on March 1st 2022
             Wednesdays 11.45 – 13.00 starting on March 2nd 2022
Registration? Registration is mandatory. You ONLY need to purchase a sports sticker. Follow the NOVA Sport app tutorial to register on your smartphone or your pc. Sessions are in English. Yoga mats are provided.
 

Did you know...

There are plenty of other possibilities in the field of sports? Whether you are looking for an affordable fitness subscription, a swimming pool, a tennis court and more, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has the answer!

Looking for a different kind of help or support?

Although all conversations with the student counsellor are in the strictest confidence, it is of course possible that you’d prefer to contact an external organisation. 

Information about the cost and possible reimbursement of mental health services and medical care in Belgium can be found with the 'mutualiteit', with specific information for students (EEA- as well as non-EEA residents). 

  • Community Help Service offers mental health services from psychologists, psychotherapists and a psychiatrist in English (and other languages), for a variety of issues. Their website states that a reasonable fee for the service will be determined considering several factors, but that no-one will be turned away for lack of funds.
     
  • The ‘Centre for Public Well-being’ (Centrum voor Algemeen Welzijn or CAW) offers free support in English (though their website is written in Dutch). You can contact them on 0800/15 13 500; the number is free and can be called even without any call credit on your phone (Mon-Fri; 9h-17h; 9am-5pm). They offer a walk-in service without appointment on various locations in Brussels (and other cities).
     
  • For a small fee, you can consult with a professional at the ‘Centre for Mental Healthcare’ (Centrum voor Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg or CGGZ), at different locations. Their team consists of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. Call them to make an appointment. There may be a waiting list. They collaborate with community interpreters if necessary, to provide support in your mother tongue.  
     
  • Merhaba works to unite and empower the LGBT+ community with a migrant background. They offer a free and strictly confidential counselling service, either in person or over the phone. The Rainbow House is a safe haven where LGBTQI persons and their friends can get information, enjoy a hearty welcome or simply meet up. 
     
  • TEJO offers free counselling sessions with a professional therapist for young people up to 20 years old, with a maximum of 10 appointments. All counsellors are volunteers and counselling is available in English, French and German. Other languages may be possible.  You can call to make an appointment, or go there during opening hours.

Extensive information on all available mental health resources in Brussels Capital Region can be found here (website in Dutch and French only). 

Would you prefer to consult with a registered psychologist in private practice? Help is available in a multitude of languages.  Do check with your health insurance fund (‘mutualiteit’/‘mutualité’) or with your insurer about the possibilities for (partial) reimbursement. Private practices Faresa and Vijfhoek are private partners of the school, where counselling is available in different languages.

If you had or still have your own counsellor, psychologist or therapist abroad, consider the possibility of connecting with them online for advice or support, if that is what you prefer. 

Don’t forget, you can also talk to your GP about your physical and mental well-being, as well as ask questions about recommended referrals. Still looking for a general practitioner in Brussels? Look no further! 

Got any other questions, for example about housing, financial support, culture and sports, mobility, student restaurants or student jobs? Then you should definitely take a look at what STUVO has to offer.

Studentenbegeleiding KCB

In urgent need of help or support?

Are you in immediate need for psychological support

  • The Community Help Service helpline offers an anonymous, confidential, 24/7 telephone service in English.
     
  • The Suicide Prevention Helpline offers free and anonymous support over the phone 24/7 and via chat 18h30-22h daily (6.30 pm-10 pm). If you prefer to speak in French, you can call the Centre de Prévention du Suicide.
     
  • Télé-Accueil offers support in French over the phone 24/7. They also offer chat from 13h-03h in the morning (1pm-3am) and so does Chat—Accueil.
     
  • Telefonhilfe 108 offers phone support in German (since this is the 3rd official language in Belgium).
     
  • You can reach the ‘Centre for General Well-being’ (Centrum voor Algemeen Welzijn or CAW) on their free number 0800/15 13 500 (Mon-Fri; 9h-17h; 9am-5pm) or via chat (Mon-Fri; 13h-17h; 1pm-5pm). Their location in Brussels Centre offers a walk-in service where you can go without an appointment.
     
  • And finally, you can find a suicide hotline per country here as well as easy access to helplines on a variety of topics per country here.  

If you are in need of urgent medical assistance or other emergency services (fire brigade, police, ambulance, poison centre, gas odour, power failure,…), you can find the number you need here. All numbers listed are free of charge and most can be reached at any time, even if you have no call credit on your phone.

For medical or psychiatric emergencies, a visit to the emergency services (‘urgences’) of the nearest hospital can be the best course of action.
 
However, if you are in doubt about what to do, or for non-urgent medical needs, it is best to first seek advice from your general practitioner or from the doctor on call.
 
In life-threatening situations, you should go to the emergency services or call an ambulance using the number 100 or 112.

Contact the student counsellor

Vera Van Mierlo
Vera Van Mierlo
Student Counsellor & Ombuds