Authors: Mental Health Strategy Working Group, University of Melbourne
Event: 2010 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Winner
Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project
Abstract: This is an innovative process designed to integrate, recognise, endorse and initiate a range of activities relating to the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff. In particular, it is explicitly aimed at improved academic outcomes for students, arising from the recognition that mental health issues have a severe impact on wellbeing, the student experience, academic engagement and performance in higher education. The strategy systematically guides the University’s response to mental health issues over the next three years. It enumerates a series of specific targets and actions in the following areas: • Mental health promotion – to maintain a university community where mental health is promoted and members are well informed on mental health issues. • Supporting people with their mental health – ensuring members of the community experiencing mental illness and mental health difficulties are effectively supported. • An implementation and evaluation process. A working group meets to oversee the implementation and evaluation of the strategy. Description of Facility/Organisation: The University of Melbourne is a leading international university with a tradition of excellence in teaching and research. It includes a community of around 45,000 students and over 5000 staff. The Counselling Service provides counselling and related psychological services to the population of students and staff, and delivers a range of health promotion activities across the University. The service is fully funded by the University and employs a team of 13 mental health professionals. In 2009 the service saw 2132 clients for 6129 sessions of individual counselling, and delivered over 3000 hours of training, workshops, consultancy, and health promotion to students and staff, contributing to the implementation of the mental health strategy. This has included delivery of mental health training including mental health first aid to over 650 staff in the last two years. The service has taken the lead in the development of the strategy with contributions from other service and academic areas.