Mental Health Issues & Practice in the Netherlands (SASS 375B/575)

Program Dates: March 10 – March 19, 2017

Pre-trip seminars January 28 and February 18; post-trip seminar April 8

Course Leaders:

Patrick Boyle

Approved for: Global and Cultural Diversity credit, Social Science credit for Engineering students, Social Work Minor credit, Elective Course credit

Course description: This 3-credit course will take students to a range of treatment settings and provide interaction with Dutch clinicians, managers and people receiving services. Students learn a great deal about similarities and differences between how Americans and the Dutch view mental health and substance use disorders, and, more importantly, how we treat the people we serve. Included are visits to treatment clinics, residential treatment centers, user rooms, prisons as well as universities. Presentations are given by government officials, practicing social workers, health care providers and many of Holland’s most prominent scholars. The experience will challenge students to compare Dutch mental health and co-occurring substance abuse treatment practices with the United States. Students with an interest in mental health and substance abuse issues are encouraged to enroll in this course.

The course begins with a brief orientation on late Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening is free to explore the city! Sunday is also an open day, but Sunday evening is reserved for a walking tour of the Red Light District. Students will have unstructured free time on the weekend after the course to travel. Tentative schedule (subject to change):

  • Monday: lectures from Dutch experts at Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam on Dutch tolerance, euthanasia, substance use and abuse, and sex work (prostitution) (http://www.english.uva.nl/start.cfm)
  • Tuesday: visit Mentrum/Arkin, Amsterdam’s primary integrated (mental health and substance use) care organization, which is the result of three organizational mergers, a process that has also begun in America (https://www.mentrum.nl/over-mentrum/)
  • Tuesday: symposium on Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT)
  • Wednesday: travel to Rotterdam and visit with researchers at Erasmus University (http://www.cvd.nl/locaties)
  • Thursday: visit the Dampkring coffee shop (http://www.dampkring.nl/) and converse with a local expert about the history of coffee shops in Amsterdam as well as see the products they sell
  • Thursday: visit Altrecht, an inpatient psychiatric hospital for forensic patients, has exposed us to how the Dutch treat people convicted of crimes and that have mental health disorders (https://www.altrecht.nl/over-ons/visie-missie/)
  • Friday: visit Blaka Watra, a drop-in center where people can find access to a number of services including showers, employment, social services, food, laundry and a “User Room”, i.e., a safe place to use drugs (http://www.deregenboog.org/en/where/blaka-watra)
  • Friday: the “Great Debate” where you have an opportunity to make persuasive arguments for or against various Dutch practices or social policies as they apply here at home (or “not”)

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Chupp, Director of International Education Programs, or Valerie Rambin, International Education Programs Manager about this or other Mandel School study abroad programs. Contact Nancy Issa for Financial Aid eligibility details and procedures.

The Netherlands Social Justice: Health and Violence Prevention (SASS 325/575)

(note: there are two separate sections for undergraduate and graduate students)

Program Dates: March 10 – March 19, 2017

Pre-trip seminars January 28 and February 18; post-trip seminar April 8 (April 22 for SASS 325)

Course Leaders:

Dean Gilmore (section SASS 325)

Mark Singer (section SASS 575)

Approved for: Global and Cultural Diversity credit, Social Science credit for Engineering students, Social Work Minor credit, Elective Course credit

Course Description: This experiential and hands-on 3-credit course is designed to familiarize them with Dutch culture, social policies and practices for prostitution, drug use, substance abuse, mental health, neighborhood social control, violence prevention, homelessness; multicultural aspects of health care, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. The trip includes guided tours of neighborhoods and social institutions such as hospitals, clinics, user rooms and prisons.  Presentations are given by government officials, practicing social workers, health care providers and many of Holland’s most prominent scholars. The experience will challenge students to compare Holland with the United States and help students understand the strengths and weaknesses of social policies and human services in both countries.

The course begins with a brief orientation on late Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening is free to explore the city! Sunday is also an open day, but Sunday evening is reserved for a walking tour of the Red Light District. Students will have unstructured free time on the weekend after the course to travel. Tentative schedule (subject to change):

  • Monday: lectures from Dutch experts at Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam on Dutch tolerance, euthanasia, substance use and abuse, and sex work (prostitution) (http://www.english.uva.nl/start.cfm)
  • Tuesday: visit the Dampkring coffee shop (http://www.dampkring.nl/) and converse with a local expert about the history of coffee shops in Amsterdam as well as see the products they sell
  • Tuesday: visit the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the largest tertiary care hospital in the country (http://www.amc.nl/) and meet with the medical director of the hospital to discuss how differently they manage their health care system than we do in the U.S.
  • Wednesday: travel to Rotterdam to meet with staff and clients at S Gravenhof (http://www.cvd.nl/afdeling/crisiscentrum-rotterdam-ccr), a halfway house for hard drugs users
  • Wednesday: visit Horizon (http://www.horizon-jeugdzorg.nl/),  a residential treatment center for severely physically and emotionally abused children ages 8-12
  • Thursday: visit Blacka Watra, a drop-in center where people can find access to a number of services including showers, employment, social services, food, laundry and a “User Room”, i.e., a safe place to use drugs (http://www.deregenboog.org/content/index.html?name=page&id=28)
  • Thursday: visit Altrecht, an inpatient psychiatric hospital for forensic patients, has exposed us to how the Dutch treat people convicted of crimes and that have mental health disorders (https://www.altrecht.nl/over-ons/visie-missie/)
  • Thursday: an alternative option is to visit the main courthouse in Amsterdam to meet with Dutch prosecutors
  • Friday: a lecture by COSA Netherlands (http://www.cosanederland.nl/en/start), a community reintegration program for sexual offenders with a  network of volunteers that befriend the clients and help them feel more socially connected to the community while also being on alert for signs of potential problems to decrease the incidence of re-offending
  • Friday: the “Great Debate” where you have an opportunity to make persuasive arguments for or against various Dutch practices or social policies as they apply here at home (or “not”)

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Chupp, Director of International Education Programs, or Valerie Rambin, International Education Programs Manager about this or other Mandel School study abroad programs. Contact Nancy Issa for Financial Aid eligibility details and procedures.