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February 14, 2020 Friday 11:41:21 AM IST

Monash University puts focus on mental health of students, staff

Teacher Insights

Monash University is developing an Australian-first digital resource to help students and staff identify when they are at risk of mental health problems, and how to seek appropriate help. The platform - ‘Thrive’ - is being developed by the University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, led by Turner Director and Head of the School of Psychology, Professor Kim Cornish, and is based on a similar platform developed by Harvard University for use with clinical populations.

The digital resource will initially be a portal that can be accessed by all Australian Monash students and staff, where they can find appropriate resources and interventions to improve mental health and well-being.

Eventually, a smartphone app will track a person’s mental health through activity on their phone, including sleep patterns and activity levels, will act as a screener and direct individuals to the most appropriate resource within the portal. It will also be capable of delivering particular interventions on the spot.

After the Australian pilot is completed, the initiative will be rolled out across Monash’s global footprint and to the entire Monash community. It will be able to provide regular pop-up alerts asking how the person is going, and provide general information on Monash resources that can provide assistance, including counselling services, exercise programs at Monash Sport, peer support and other programs. The app will be co-designed with, and tailored to, different student groups, including domestic, international and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students.


The portal and app are being developed in consultation with a broad range of Monash experts and services, including the Chief Medical Officer, head of BehaviourWorks, student representative groups and students. The portal will be piloted in a two-month study with students at the Clayton campus in early 2020, with a large-scale, multi-campus pilot study of the app to follow.  Thrive will eventually be implemented across Monash international campuses and community.

Monash has a range of support services available to students and staff, including free counselling services for students at all campuses, and a confidential 24/7 Employee Assistance Program for staff.


(Content Courtesy: https://www.monash.edu/news/articles/monash-university-puts-focus-on-mental-health-of-students,-staff)


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