24 April 2018

Mental health will be included as a priority in decision-making at The University of Queensland from this year.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the UQ Mental Health Strategy (2018-2020) recognised the need to include mental health in core business to support staff and students and enable them to realise their potential.

The strategy, developed in consultation across the UQ community, draws on studies such as the Orygen Under the Radar Report and international best-practice.

Professor Høj said UQ was adopting a stepped-care model which used evidence-based strategies and interventions to change culture and tailor support to individual requirements.

“UQ encourages its people to engage in positive health behaviours that enhance wellbeing, and also to seek help early if they feel the need,” Professor Høj said.

“By doing so, we hope to have a positive affect on our own people, as well as on how mental health is portrayed and supported in the wider community.”

A Mental Health Task Force will oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of the strategy, with regular monitoring to ensure it is achieving its aims.

“We are committed to a sustained and multi-pronged approach to transform culture to promote better mental health,” Professor Høj said.

“Initiatives that focus on the needs of our entire community will include raising awareness, building capacity and promoting mental health, and we will develop detailed action plans responding to the needs of students and staff.”

Changes to support students will include standardising assessment submission times and altering the time that results are released to business hours to ensure support services are available.

An early alert system will be developed to help identify students who may need additional support, and UQ will establish formal partnerships and a referral framework with external mental health support providers such as Headspace.

Media: Carolyn Varley, communications@uq.edu.au, 07 3346 7890.