Mental health a campus concern
UNIVERSITY and Tafe students are stressed and anxious, with nearly 70 per cent describing their mental health as poor or fair in a new survey.
Headspace and the National Union of Students ran one of the biggest national student surveys into mental health and released preliminary findings on April 6.
More than 35 per cent reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide and 83.2 per cent felt stressed.
Curtin Student Guild education vice-president Jordan Piggott said a large proportion of WA’s respondents to the survey attended Curtin, but mental wellbeing was an important issue across every campus nationally.
“There are significant issues with mental wellbeing among the student population and with WA contributing over 1000 responses to this survey, these results should be of great concern to university communities in the state,” he said.
Curtin University deputy vice-chancellor academic Jill Downie said research showed higher levels of mental distress
The university then created a mental health strategy to offer greater support and encourage people to seek help.
The Bentley campus has 30,000 members and the guild offers free case workers to people whose studies are being affected by personal, financial or academic issues.
But Mr Piggott said more could be done.
“The university is increasing its footprint with a vision of becoming its own city, but while this development is underway students are still waiting too long to access service,” he said.
“At the same time, higher education funding is kicked around like a political football and federal funding arrangements force public universities to operate like businesses.”
South Metropolitan Tafe declined to comment on the findings.
The full report is due out by the end of the financial year.
Headspace has 99 centres nationally plus the online and over-the-phone counselling service, www.eheadspace.org.au or call 18000 650 890. Lifeline can also be contacted if people are distressed on 13 11 14.