While learning new knowledge and skills at university helps to keep your brain active, we know that university can also be a stressful time. We all have mental health and this will fluctuate day to day. USC provides a range of information and services to help maintain positive mental health and wellbeing and support students living with mental illness.
Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework
USC is a healthy university that takes a 'whole-of-university' approach to promoting student mental health and wellbeing. The University has adopted the Framework for Enhancing Student Mental Wellbeing1 to guide its health and wellbeing initiatives across five action areas:
- Fostering engaging curricula and learning experiences
- Cultivating supportive environments
- Strengthening community awareness
- Developing students' mental health knowledge and skills
- Ensuring access to effective services
1. Baik, C. et al. (2016). Framework for Enhancing Student Mental Wellbeing. Available at: http://unistudentwellbeing.edu.au/framework/
thedesk offers free access to online modules, tools, quizzes and advice to support your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
As a student you face many demands including academic pressure, the need to balance work and family commitments, social and cultural issues and financial pressures. If you are having difficulty dealing with stress, contact Student Wellbeing.
The following online resources are available for 24-hour support:
- Kids Helpline—free, private and confidential telephone and online counselling service for young people aged between 5 and 25.
- Lifeline Australia—24-hour crisis support.
- Reach Out—help for wherever you are at.
- CounsellingOnline—free alcohol and drug counselling online.
- Beyond Blue—information about depression, anxiety and related disorders.
Sleep contributes to your academic success and overall health and wellbeing. However, getting enough hours each night can be challenging, with study, work and a social life all competing for your time. Here are some tips to promote better sleep:
- Create a bedtime routine. If you have trouble falling asleep, creating a routine helps your mind and body get into sleep mode. After a few weeks of practice this should help you fall asleep as needed.
- Stick to a schedule. Keeping a similar bed time each night can greatly improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep. This may vary, depending on your class and work hours, but try to create and stick to a schedule as best you can.
- Don't work in bed. Keeping your work and sleep spaces separate from your sleep space to keep insomnia at bay.
- Keep your room dark and quiet. While college campuses are hardly either, try to keep your room as dark, quiet and cool as possible. This will help trigger to your body that it's time for bed and help you get and stay asleep.
- Take a nap. If you have the time during the day, a short nap can do wonders for your energy levels. Just make sure not to nap too close to bedtime or for too long, and a nap will do your body good.
- Avoid caffeine, eating and drinking right before bed. All of these activities can throw off your body's internal clock, so try to limit meals, alcohol and caffeine consumption to a few hours before bed.
- Avoid all nighters. While you may feel like you need to study all night to do well you might be doing yourself a disservice. Not getting enough sleep can impair your ability to do well, regardless of how much you've studied, so make sure you get at least a little sleep before your big test.
- Understand that lack of sleep can have a big impact. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you cranky, it can also reduce your ability to concentrate and to excel at class, so try to get as much sleep as you need.
- Get a full night's rest whenever possible. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, most people need 7-9 hours to feel fully rested. While this may not be possible every night, try to sleep a full night whenever you get the chance.
USC recognises the diverse cultural and religious groups represented within the University and its wider community, and supports campus-based expressions of spirituality. A Quiet Reflection Room is located at Student Wellbeing, on the ground floor of Building E Sippy Downs, for multi-faith prayer, quiet, reflection and meditation. It is open on weekdays from 8.30am to 5pm, for all students and staff.
A Reflection Room is available for student and staff use at USC SouthBank on Level 2, Building A4 (SW1 complex), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane.
For the location of prayer and contemplation facilities at other USC campuses and learning hubs visit AskUSC.
Further information can be found at the Sunshine Coast Council places of worship on the Sunshine Coast CommunityHub site.