Enhancing Student Wellbeing

This project aims to assist university educators and leaders to develop policies, curriculum and learning environments that promote and support student mental health and wellbeing.

About the Project

Universities across Australia are increasingly aware of the growing prevalence and severity of mental health difficulties across their student populations. This project will support sector-wide conversations, a whole-of-institution approach and pedagogical innovations that promote mental health and wellbeing. It will make accessible the research, theoretical approaches and promising practices that are prompting change in this area, and it will offer practical resources to assist academic educators better support the mental wellbeing and academic outcomes of students.

Project outcomes

The project outcomes will include:

  1. A framework for developing a whole-of-institution approach to promoting student mental health and wellbeing. The framework builds on the outcomes of the 2011 National Summit on the Mental Health of Tertiary Students.
  2. Online professional development resources for academic teachers to advance awareness of student mental health issues and of curriculum and pedagogical approaches that can support mental wellbeing in the teaching and learning environment.
  3. A National Symposium on Student Mental Health Wellbeing held at the University of Melbourne on Friday 9 September, 2016.
    The aim of this national symposium was to stimulate conversation on the role of academic educators in supporting student mental health and wellbeing. National and international speakers shared insights and offered strategies for designing curriculum and creating teaching and learning environments that can support student mental health and enhance learning. Read more information about the event by downloading the symposium flyer.  Follow proceedings on Twitter using the hashtag #unistudentwellbeing. 

Project team

  • Dr Chi Baik

    Dr Chi Baik is the project co-leader, with Dr Wendy Larcombe. Chi is a senior lecturer in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education (Melbourne CSHE), the University of Melbourne. Her research program centres around the quality of the student experience, and her work in recent years has focused on the development of policies and programs to promote and recognise effective university teaching.

  • Dr Wendy Larcombe

    Dr Wendy Larcombe is the project co-leader, with Dr Chi Baik. Wendy is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne where she has been researching and developing policy to support student mental wellbeing for a number of years. More recently she led an empirical research project investigating student wellbeing in other disciplines at the University of Melbourne.

  • Dr Abi Brooker

    Dr Abi Brooker is the project manager. She is a research fellow at the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education (Melbourne CSHE) at the University of Melbourne.

  • Professor Johanna Wyn

    Professor Johanna Wyn is the Director of the Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne. Professor Wyn specializes in longitudinal research about the dimensions of young people’s lives, including education, work, wellbeing, relationships and family. Professor Wyn was instrumental in the development of the Mind Matters program to promote mental health and wellbeing within Australian schools.

  • Dr Lee Allen

    Dr Lee Allen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, where she is the Mental Health Subject Coordinator to the Doctor of Medicine.  She is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Austin Health, in the Youth Early Psychosis Service and Director of Training of the Victorian Northern Region, for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

  • Assoc. Professor Rachael Field

    Associate Professor Rachael Field is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology. She is currently a member of, and communications officer for, the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows.

  • Mr Matthew Brett

    Mr Matthew Brett currently Manager of Higher Education Policy, in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, at La Trobe University. He previously worked as Strategic Advisor on Equity Policy at the University of Melbourne where he was a principal architect of the award-winning University of Melbourne Mental Health Strategy. In 2011 he co-convened the National Summit on the Mental Health of Tertiary Students, held at the University of Melbourne.

  • Professor Richard James

    Professor Richard James is ProVice Chancellor (Academic) and Director of the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. He is a leading figure in Australian higher education and an internationally recognised researcher in areas related to higher education policy, equity and the student experience.

Project Expert Advisory Group

Associate Professor Jacqueline Cranney
Leader, OLT project, Curriculum renewal to build student resilience and success, University of New South Wales

Associate Professor Ray Peterson
Leader, OLT project, Student mental health support and assistance, University of Adelaide

Professor Sally Kift
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), James Cook University

Professor Glen Bates
Pro Vice Chancellor (Student Advancement), Swinburne University or Technology

Contact


Dr Abi Brooker, project manager
Email: brookera@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: (03) 8344 0969