10 Days of Mental Health

10 Days of Mental Health

VUB supports UZ Brussel employees with #VerzorgDeVerzorgers

#VerzorgDeVerzorgers – a fundraising campaign by the VUB Foundation on the initiative of rector Caroline Pauwels – has raised €25,000 to improve the emotional and psychological wellbeing of UZ Brussel employees. On Friday 9 October at 9.30, the rector will hand over the cheque to Marc Noppen, CEO of UZ Brussel.

The funds raised will be used to provide psychological support to the care and maintenance staff at the UZ Brussel. Villa Samson has been transformed into a safe place where they can find respite from the pressure and emotions that have been running high since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

It is no coincidence that the cheque is being handed over during the 10 Days of Mental Health event, which runs from 1 to 10 October each year. Rector Caroline Pauwels wants to highlight the importance of good mental health and show that VUB and the university hospital are resilient together. Dr Karen Pien, medical information manager at UZ Brussel, listens to employees’ personal experiences with a team of clinical psychologists. They are alert to signals of stress and anxiety, and help people who need support to deal with pressure and emotions. These heroes are also being celebrated.

Dr Pien says: “I am an expert on post-traumatic stress syndrome. During the first wave of the corona crisis, I told Prof Dr Noppen what I thought we really needed: a place where it was possible to work in peace and quiet on the mental health of the UZ Brussel care and maintenance staff. That place was Villa Samson. Anyone who comes to us can tell their story. We offer a listening ear and then focus on groundwork: on the one hand we encourage self-care and on the other hand we carry out trauma-release exercises.”

More information

Rector Caroline Pauwels and CEO UZ Jette Marc Noppen via VUB press relations

VUB Foundation: Isabelle.Marneffe@vub.be - 0477 444 494

Villa Samson: coordinator@villasamson.be - 0472 20 21 11

Dr Karen Pien: Karen.Pien@uzbrussel.be - 0476 574 573

Action #VerzorgDeVerzorgers: www.vub.be/verzorgdeverzorgers


VUB Foundation

The VUB Foundation raises philanthropic funds from companies, organisations and individuals. The policy of the VUB fundraising service is based on the conviction that every philanthropic donation receives a social return. What you give to VUB, you get back. www.vubfoundation.be

Villa Samson

Villa Samson is a building next to the UZ Brussel where patients can spend time with their pets. Hospital staff have also recently moved here to receive emotional and psychological support. Villa Samson is entirely dependent on donations. www.villasamson.be

About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.



Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel