Report on International Students’ Mental Health and Physical Safety
The Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, has released a national report investigating international students’ mental health and physical safety needs.
The report, titled International Students and their Mental Health and Physical Safety, draws on national surveys and interviews with international students and education providers across metropolitan and regional Australia.
It acknowledges the good practice and ongoing commitment from higher education, vocational education and training and English language providers across the international education sector to support the welfare of international students in Australia.
The report describes seven areas of good practice for the sector to draw on to better support international students, including:
- Whole of provider commitment through policy and leadership: Including developing mental wellbeing strategies, policies, plans and guidelines
- Enhancing connections and belonging: Through initiatives like speed friending events, sporting and social activities, student ambassador and peer mentorship programs
- Building mental health and physical safety literacy and awareness: For example, with wellbeing days, mental health awareness posters, and orientation events
- Prevention and early identification of risk or emerging issues: Including welfare checks from staff, and training staff to recognise red flags for poor mental health
- Promoting and facilitating access to supports on campus or in the community: For example, online platforms for counselling, and systems to refer students to professionals
- Designing and delivering culturally appropriate responses: Language learning programs, student support staff, regular student surveys, workshops for adjusting to Australian life
- Critical incident management: Pocket guides for responding to critical incidents, risk management plans, crisis management frameworks, escalation guidelines.
The release of this report is an opportunity to increase sector capacity and collaboration through increased peer support and mentoring; increasing accessibility of information on supports and services; building social connection; and developing platforms for networking and communities of practice.
Follow this link to read the report.