World Mental Health Day – panel discussion

Mental health is an important part of your wellbeing. From learning to manage stress and anxiety, to understanding how this impacts different people, talking about mental health breaks down the barriers and stigma often associated with seeking support.

To raise awareness for World Mental Health Day, ANU Counselling Centre is hosting a panel discussion focussing on mental health, taking care of yourself and some of the challenges faced by staff and students. The panel will include a current staff member and representatives from the postgraduate and undergraduate student body sharing some of their own experiences. The panel discussion will be facilitated by 2018 ANUSA President, Eleanor Kay.

ANU Counselling will also be participating in this session and will be available to answer questions about the support services for staff and students, as well as some tips to support your own mental health and wellbeing.

The panel includes:

  • Katelyn is a 2nd year domestic Criminology student, who lives on campus as a Senior Resident. In early 2017, Katelyn met her first battle with mental ill-health and has had to learn how to manage her mental health while adjusting to full-time study, living on her own, and navigating a new city. Her experience has made her passionate about open and transparent conversation about mental health at university, particularly for students living on campus and living out of home for the first time.
  • Eleanor Kay is the 2018 President of the ANU Students' Association (ANUSA). She is a 6th year student, currently completing her Honours in Philosophy, exploring the territorial rights of states. Prior to her commencement as President, Eleanor was the 2017 ANUSA Vice President. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Eleanor has acted in student welfare and student advocacy roles, with a specific interest in student wellbeing and facilitating institutional structures that support the voices of all people.
  • Aileen is history doctoral candidate with the ARC Laureate Project, 'Recuperating humans in Deep Human Time', Professor Ann McGrath's project.Living on campus in the Burgmann College and talking with undergraduate and postgraduate students informally about mental health issues Aileen provides perspectives not just related to herself. After experiencing the mental health consequences of emotional and psychological abuse from her previous husband Aileen does also know now how to protect and maintain good mental health in personal relationships where there is always the potential for others to abuse personal boundaries. Added to this Aileen's daughter developed schizophrenia, probably as a consequence of the emotional and psychological violence witnessed and experienced at home. Aileen has therefore needed to learn strategies for dealing with schizophrenia, which many may be surprised to learn can be stabilised.

  • Andrew Staniforth is the current Head, ANU Counselling Centre. He is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in public mental health, tertiary counselling and private psychological practice. Andrew is currently focused on making the lived everyday experience of people with mental ill-health more visible, and promoting accessibility to mental health support.

  • Professor Richard Baker, Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience). Richard is a geographer with a passion for teaching and learning.  He graduated from the ANU in 1981 with a BA(Hons) and a University Medal in Geography and Archaeology. A key part of his role since being appointed to the Executive in 2012 has been taking strategic leadership across the campus in health and well-being issues.  In 2013 with the then ANUSA president he established the Mental Health Advisory Working Group which he continues to chair.

A light lunch will be provided. Please register your interest by Friday 5 October.

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