The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Orygen, will develop the framework through national consultations with universities and the mental health sector.
Universities Australia Acting Chief Executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said the mental health and wellbeing of students is a key priority for universities.
“All Australian universities have student support services — and we encourage any student who is distressed or in need of help to access that support,” Ms Lansdown said.
“The higher education sector is committed to early intervention and prevention — and want to help students get the specialist support they need,” she said.
“There are many highly-regarded mental health initiatives already in place at Australian universities. We hope this framework will help us to share that best practice and build on that foundation.”
Ms Vivienne Brown, Orygen’s Principal Adviser, Government Relations and Policy, said the framework will “recognise and tap into the great initiatives that have already been developed by a number of Australian and international universities.”
The recent Under the Radar report by Orygen showed there is an increase in the severity and complexity of conditions among university students.
“Youth mental illness generally is on the rise and universities are on the frontline of supporting young people with everything from financial stress to complex illnesses,” Ms Lansdown said.
“The aim is for this framework to help universities to respond to this growing demand and complexity, and further strengthen partnerships between universities and mental health providers.”
Ms Lansdown encouraged any student who is feeling distressed or in need of help to access the support available at their university or one of the community-wide support hotlines:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
- Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800