Theme 1 | (COVID-19 related) mental health care

Youth mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: opportunities for further matching young people’s needs

Sophie Leijdesdorff 

Dr Sophie Leijdesdorff studied Clinical Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She started her career as fundraiser for the Erasmus MC Alzheimer’s centre, and combined this with doing scientific research into cognitive profiles in frontotemporal dementia. In January 2017, Sophie moved to Maastricht to start her PhD research at Maastricht University, supervised by prof. Therese van Amelsvoort. 

She was involved in setting up the first @ease centres in Maastricht, Heerlen, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Groningen. These centres offer youth-friendly, anonymous, peer-to-peer counselling, free of charge. Sophie trains and supervises @ease’s young volunteers. In November 2020, she submitted her dissertation titled: Ain’t no mountain high enough - How to improve access to youth mental health care. Currently, Sophie continues her work on youth mental health research as a postdoctoral researcher at Maastricht University.

The School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNs) strives to advance our understanding of brain-behaviour relationships by using an approach integrating various disciplines in neuro- and behavioural science, medicine, and the life sciences more widely. MHeNs performs high-impact mental health and neuroscience research and educates master's students and PhD researchers. MHeNs performs translational research, meaning practical collaboration between researchers in the lab and in the hospital. MHeNs is one of six graduate schools of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) aligned to the Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+).