In Australia, one in four students will experience mental ill-health during their time at university and within UNSW over 20,000 mental health-related appointments are made annually.
In 2018, UNSW conducted a deep dive review of student mental health and wellbeing, with the guidance and support of external consultants from Price Waterhouse Cooper. This involved extensive consultation with students, staff, other universities and external service providers. Students were invited to join the review and strategy teams to ensure their voices were heard throughout the process.
This has resulted in the inaugural Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy, which has been designed to provide a high-level framework for addressing student mental health and wellbeing within UNSW.
"Having mental health, suicide prevention and safety strategies are critical for the wellbeing of all students and staff in today's climate. At UNSW, we have the opportunity to set a progressive tone that prioritises student wellbeing and creates a compassionate community. We hope that students have a seamless learning journey, but we know that is not always the case. We want students to know that the support to get through these tough times exists and they are supported by research-informed plans put in place" said Nayonika Bhattacharya, Student Representative Council President and former 2021 Student Minds officer.
We acknowledge that there is still much work to be done and that life as a student is challenging. Adjusting to student life and balancing study, work and other responsibilities can put a strain on our students. We remain committed to investing in the well-being of our students and engaging in collaborative and innovative research projects that centre on the student's voice.