Mindwaves University Mental Health Strategy

Student and staff wellbeing

CQU is committed to developing and implementing a mental health strategy that promotes student and staff mental health and wellbeing and provides a positive educational and workplace experience via a healthy, resilient, inclusive, compassionate and connected University community.

MindWaves vision

Our vision is to actively support the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of the Universities students and staff, while also engaging with the broader community to advocate and promote an inclusive, resilient and supportive society.

Stepped care

MindWaves recognises the importance of a stepped care model to ensure that students and staff receive the support relevant to their needs. The three-tiered model demonstrates how the strategy is relevant for the three population groups.

  1. Institutional approach
    Offering health promotion and prevention initiatives for all students and staff.
  2. Targeted assistance
    Offering early intervention initiatives for students and staff with identified coping concerns.
  3. Individual intervention
    Providing treatment, services, and crisis response management for students and staff with mental health concerns.

MindWaves recognises that for cultural shift to happen, change needs to occur at the institutional and individual level. MindWaves activities will build upon the existing services and initiatives provided by the University with the hope of creating a sustainable, coordinated and collaborative response to student and staff mental health needs.

Strategic focus areas

The MindWaves Framework has eight focus areas designed to promote student and staff wellbeing and ensure the mental health needs of all population groups are addressed.

  1. Governance for mental health and wellbeing
  2. Mental health awareness and wellbeing promotion
  3. Research, innovation and evidence-informed action
  4. Supportive and connected university environment
  5. Valuing indigenous communities' context and priorities
  6. Early identification and response
  7. Engaging curricula and training
  8. Access to services and support

In May 2017 Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, released the report ‘Under the Radar’ on student mental health and put out a call to action, that ‘the mental health and wellbeing of university students is included within the core business of higher education delivery in Australia’. Orygen showed there is an increase in the severity and complexity of conditions among university students.

In June 2018 the then Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, released the Higher Education Standards Panel’s final report, ‘Improving retention, completion and success in higher education’. Minister Birmingham agreed to all of the panel’s 18 recommendations. Significantly, Recommendation 8 is:

Every institution should have an institution-wide mental health strategy and implementation plan.

We are committed to developing and implementing a University Mental Health Strategy in response to the evident need and call to action.

This strategy will be implemented over the next three years via a whole-of-university approach.  The implementation of both short term and longer-term initiatives will be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness. A formal review will be conducted annually to determine what longer-term initiatives are required based on the University’s needs.

MindWaves is strength-based strategy drawing on a Positive Education model that promotes student and staff wellbeing by:

  1. Understanding, recognising and further developing individual’s strengths and abilities.
  2. Empowering individuals to be decision makers in their academic learning and personal development.
  3. Building upon individual’s life skills to help them to cope better with adversity and in turn to flourish (Seldon & Martin, 2017).

We take a positive approach with a focus on the interconnectedness between an individual and their environment, recognising that:

  • Individuals who have choice and control over their health will have better health outcomes.
  • The community a person studies, works and lives in has a direct impact on their health.
  • A 'whole of University approach' is required.