Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy

IMPORTANT COVID-19 MESSAGE:
To keep us all safe, Student Services (Counselling, Disability, Welfare Services and Student Central) will be moving to online support and services - phone, email and chat contact details remain the same.

Western Sydney University Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy considers the promotion of wellbeing and positive mental health within the University community. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy highlights the mechanisms of support for those impacted by mental ill-health within both the student and staff population. The University aspires to operate within a person-centred approach, which values all individuals within a vibrant working/learning environment. A normalising and recovery model to dynamic mental health promotes the understanding that some people may seek transient support, whilst others may require longer-term support within their working environments or for their individual learning provision. Links between positive mental health and optimum physical health/wellbeing are identified. The University acknowledges that the key aspect to any support for mental health and wellbeing is positive engagement and supportive interpersonal relationships with others. The WSU community is a diverse cultural population. Therefore, it is considered helpful to note differing conceptualisations of mental health, wellbeing, mental health needs and illness.

The Ottawa Charter (WHO, 1986) has been influential in shifting health promotion away from problem-oriented individual interventions to a more holistic approach. It advocates putting health on the agenda of policy makers in all sectors, putting responsibility for health back onto organisations and communities. The aim of health promotion is to generate ‘living and working conditions that are safe, stimulating, satisfying and enjoyable’.

The Western Sydney University Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy offers five key areas of consideration:

  • Promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
  • Improve mental health literacy.
  • Support people in the Western Sydney University Community who are experiencing mental health issues Embed health and wellbeing into curriculum.
  • Research and evaluate.

A University community that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing, breaks down any possible stigma associated with mental health and ill-health, is responsive to those who may be experiencing changes in their mental health and supports members of the community who are carers of people with mental ill-health.

  • Promotion of wellbeing as a ‘whole of person’ approach with important links between physical and mental health
  • A supportive culture that encourages early identification of changes in mental health status and support of people experiencing distress, mental health conditions or psycho-social disability.
  • A normalising approach that recognises changes in mental health status dependent on life stressors and other factors. We aspire to the notion of recovery. This can be different for each person. Recovery may be about
  • (re)gaining control of a person’s identity and life, having hope for their life and living a life that has meaning for the individual whether through work, relationships, spirituality, community engagement or some or all of these.
  • People can make positive change to their mental health with support and varying forms of management and treatment approaches.

table of the aims of the mental health and wellbeing strategy