How common are mental health issues?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, around one in five Australians reported dealing with a mental disorder in the last 12 months. Anxiety disorders were most common – 14.4%, followed by affective disorders - 6.2% (of which depression is 4.1%), and substance use disorders – 5.1% (of which 4.3% is alcohol related).

How are mental health issues addressed at UNSW?

The UNSW Counselling and Psychological Servcies [CAPS] team are your support when you are concerned about a student. Students can book appointments with a trained psychologist via the individual counselling page. There are also a number of self-help resources available for students on the mental wellbeing support page.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a nationally accredited 12-hour training course. This program runs over 2 days and is conducted by a [CAPS] psychologist who is also an accredited MHFA instructor. Participants receive a course manual and certificate at the completion of the course.

Other resources you may find of interest are the Recognising and Managing Distress and Recognising and Managing Difficult Behaviour information pages.These pages offer a wealth of sound, practical advice about what to say, what to do and who to contact. Or you can register for the next scheduled Managing Students in Distress or Mental Health First Aid course. Details on the [CAPS] Events and Training page.

UNSW staff are also encouraged to include our moodle Mind Smart Guides in their course outlines or use them to stimulate discussion in tutorials. Topics include: Dealing with exam stress, tips for receiving feedback and learning good sleep practices to increase performance. 

Are mental health issues classed as a disability?

A range of mental health conditions are defined as a disability according to university guidelines and Australian law, including: attention deficit disorder (ADD), anxiety disorder (including obsessive compulsive disorder), post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, depressive disorder and eating disorders.

What are my legal responsibilities regarding disability and mental health?

Under Australian law, educational institutions must provide reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a student with a disability, the Disability Team is available to answer you enquiries.  For more information on adjusting your teaching style to accomodate disabled students, how to handle receiving letters of support or students you believe are impaired, please visit our disability service overview page.

What other resources are available to UNSW staff?

The Counselling and Psychological Services team have a range of resources available to UNSW staff on a range of mental health conditions and topics. Here are all the relevant links that you can review for further advice: