Building a healthy ANU: mental health symposium

ANUSA, PARSA and The Australian National University are excited to invite students and staff to the second annual Mental Health in Higher Education Symposium- 'Building a healthy ANU: mental health symposium' to be held on Wednesday 3 May 2017.

Building on the inaugural 2016 symposium, this year will have a focus on the actions required to ensure the ANU is a healthy university and the mental health of students is supported across the university.

The day will highlight best practice internationally as well as the latest data on the mental health of Australian university students. The workshop session will provide students and staff the opportunity to be involved in action planning across a range of issues highlighted throughout the day and to identify innovative approaches to place ANU at the forefront of universities engaging in this space.

Draft Agenda

9.30am Opening Address: Professor Richard Baker-ANU

9.45am Keynote: Dr Helen Stallman-UniSA "Healthy Universities in a global context"

10.45am Morning tea

11.15am Mental health of Australian university students report: Vivienne Browne-Orygen,The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health

12.30pm Lunch: creative approaches and mental health

1pm Workshop-Healthy University Action Plan: tools for building a mentally healthy ANU

2.45pm Wrap up

3pm Close

For any questions and to register dietary requirements please email Alexandra Culloden-Wellbeing Project Coordinator via


Title: Healthy Universities in a global context.

Presenter: Dr Helen Stallman, The University of South Australia, Australia

Mental health within universities and colleges has traditionally been addressed through adjunct, optional services offered to students. This paper will discuss the broader, contextual and ecological determinants of mental health and wellbeing in students. Programs, such as thedesk and The Learning Thermometer, will be used to demonstrate how interventions can be both preventative, inclusive of all students, and student-centred. Integrating teaching, learning, wellbeing and resilience has the potential to improve the wellbeing and resilience of graduates, reduce some barriers to help-seeking such as stigma, and reduce the burden of disease associated with mental illness in students and graduates.

Title: Orygen report on the mental health of Australian university students

Presenter: Vivienne Browne

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health has developed a report on the mental health of Australian university students which describes:

  • A snapshot on what is known about the mental health of young people in Australian higher education.
  • The determinants of mental health unique to university students and the impacts of mental ill-health on students, education providers and government.
  • Current policy, system and university services responses.
  • The evidence for a range of interventions delivered in university settings to better support students mental health and wellbeing.

This presentation will identify a number of opportunities (highlighted in the report) where the response to students experiencing mental ill-health could be improved, both within higher education and mental health policy and programs.