The Dutch federation for Academic Medical Centers (NFU) has awarded the Research and Innovation (O&I) trophy to @ease for their effort and work for collaborative and innovative research. Moreover, @ease improves mental health on a regional level. 

In 2019, the NFU set up the plan ‘Research and innovation with and for a healthy region’ to answer the question how the academic medical centers can use innovation to improve prevention and health care. With this plan they wanted to work together to get a healthier region, which will make the inhabitants healthier and which makes the health differences between people smaller. 

The main goal of @ease is to offer the youth (between 12-25 years) a safe place where they are listened to and where they can share their problems. Both online and offline are peers available to have a conversation. These conversations are free, anonymous and without a waiting list. This makes the support approachable and helps to lower the threshold to seek support.

@ease started in 2017 and was initiated by Thérèse van Amelsvoort (professor of Transition Psychiatry at Maastricht UMC+) and Rianne Klaassen (Child and youth psychiatrist at Levvel). Meanwhile, Erasmus MC and UMC Groningen also have joined in the @ease concept. Currently, @ease has 7 locations in 5 different cities in the Netherlands. APH researcher Arne Popma (professor of Child and Youth Psychiatry at Amsterdam UMC) has taken a major role in the establishment of the 3 @ease locations in Amsterdam, in collaboration with Levvel, Emma kinderziekenhuis, VU Amsterdam and GGD Amsterdam. On behalf of @ease, Arne Popma and volunteers Rick Koll (@ease Maastricht) and Maartje de Vries (@ease Groningen) accepted the O&I trophy during the NFU Research & Innovation conference on October 29.

Read more about @ease on the @ease website.

Read more about the O&I award ceremony on the NFU website .