Embedding mental wellbeing in Australian regional universities: Equity interventions
Helen Scobie, Michelle Picard
Published in International Studies in Widening Participation
Vol 5, No 1
Student wellbeing is an important issue to address because research shows that a high percentage of Australian university students experience mental health problems and that higher numbers are found in equity groups. Research also shows that regional universities have a higher percentage of students from equity groups. This paper outlines findings from a study of regional university students and mental health interventions that combined a desktop survey of web-based university resources and an integrative review of relevant literature. Our findings show that most Australian universities do not integrate their mental wellbeing support into the curriculum and that mental health professionals and educators typically work in silos. Consequently, universities only have limited success in addressing student wellbeing needs. We argue that there is a need to draw on best practice for embedding academic support as part of inclusive pedagogies and curricula, in order to extend these to include mental wellbeing support. This study is significant as it is the first to synthesise the key principles of effective embedded wellbeing support in relation to regional university contexts.
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