Mental health strategy


Since the ANU unveiled its Mental Health Strategy in 2016 recognition of the deleterious impacts of discrimination and its systemic underpinnings-be it based on gender, race, sexuality, or other grounds-has taken centre stage. Moreover, the mental health ramifications of the global pandemic have underscored the importance of addressing societal influences on mental well-being, especially the importance of social connection with others.  

ANU remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the mental well-being of its students and staff. By 2025, the University envisions a community that is not only inclusive but also robustly supportive and united. Further, the 2023 legislation on psychosocial workplace hazards amplifies the University's responsibility to address processes and practices that might jeopardise the mental health of its community. Numerous pioneering initiatives are presently underway, each tailored to enhance the well-being of our campus community.  

The ensuing review is informed by this backdrop.  


In light of the evolving mental health challenges, the IDEA Governance Committee (IGC) in September 2022 resolved to re-evaluate the existing Mental Health Strategy (MHS). The goal is to craft a contemporary strategy, taking cues from the 2020 Australian Productivity Commission Report on Mental Health, insights from the Boland Review, and recommendations from the 2020 Australian University Mental Health Framework Orygen Report.  

We are pleased to announce Professor Lyndall Strazdins as the Project Director for the Mental Health Strategy Review Project. Collaborative efforts between Inclusive Communities (University Experience) and a dedicated Taskforce, active until April 2024, will ensure the project's progression.  

The Mental Health Review Taskforce is comprised of the following representatives: 

  • Chair - Professor Lyndall Strazdins 
  • People and Culture - Kylie Grady 
  • University Experience - Dr James Brann 
  • Counselling Services (University Experience) - Lisa Kennedy 
  • Student Safety and wellbeing services -Larissa Siliezar Mendoza  
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives - Dr Jill Guthrie, Dr Fiona Cornforth and Dr Ben Mitchell 
  • Residential Experience - Felicity Gouldthorp 
  • School of Medicine and Psychology - Professor Bruce Christensen 
  • ANU academic expert - Dr Lou Farrer 
  • Academic staff member - Professor Jo Ford 
  • ACT Health, Office of Mental Health and Well-being - Dr Elizabeth Moore 
  • Undergraduate and disability student representatives - Ben Chery, Mira Robson 
  • Postgraduate student representatives - Sharrada Segeran, Abolfazl Amjadipour 

Project Approach

Guided by the Inclusive Communities Team, the Mental Health Taskforce Team has begun  Phase 1 - Initial Consultations and Scoping. With the project progressing into Phase 2 - Taskforce-led Strategy Review and Development, Taskforce meetings have taken place since June 2023 and will continue to April 2024. These sessions are designed to re-examine the existing MHS and draft a revamped strategy, with valuable inputs from vital stakeholders and the broader University community.  

Once we attain approvals from both the IGC and the Senior Management Group (SMG), the strategy will transition to Phase 3 - Implementation, set to commence in May 2024.  

Consultation- Phase 1

There will be two consultation phases (one to develop and one to refine strategy). The objectives of the first phase are to:   

  1. Build awareness and engage stakeholders with the review and its aims, create dialogue.  
  2. Gather insightful, diverse data on mental health and wellbeing needs for staff and students.   
  3. Gather data on enabling ANU services, systems, curriculum and culture strengths and needs.    
  4. Co-design processes and elements of a future strategy for mental health promotion, prevention and support at ANU.   

If you would like further information or would like to provide written feedback on the current and future direction of the Strategy please email; 



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