The University of Newcastle, Australia

Concerned about a student's mental health?

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Worryingly high numbers of Australian university students are stressed and anxious, with many having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, according to new research from headspace and the National Union of Students.


One of the largest national student surveys into the mental health of Australian students has revealed that close to 70 per cent of respondents rated their mental health as poor or fair. While two-thirds reported high or very high psychological distress over the past 12 months.

If you are concerned about a student’s mental health there are a number of options available to you seek advice both in and out of hours.

Don’t forget to look after yourself as well. All UON staff are able to access free and confidential counselling through the Employee Assistance Program.

  • Encourage the student to seek support themselves

Students can access support options from services within UON or services external to the University. For more information on accessing support services please refer to the Counselling webpage or call 4921 6622.

The University of Newcastle operates an afterhours crisis support phone line between 5pm to 9am weekdays, and 24 hours over the weekends and public holidays. This service is operated by a team of qualified crisis support specialists who can support students to find relief from current distress, explore coping strategies, and safely manage any immediate threats to life or safety. The service offers immediate and short-term crisis support only, not an ongoing counselling relationship, therapy or treatment.

To access the UON out-of-hour crisis support line:

  • Call 1300 653 007
  • Text 0488 863 216 for sms chat option

Students can also access our website for resources, tip sheets, and blog posts on a range of topics related to mental health, wellbeing and academic performance. Examples of tip sheets include, “Surviving Placement” , “Presentation Jitters” or “Grief and Loss”.

  • Make a referral to Student Central / Student Care and Equity

Staff are able to make a referral outlining their concerns directly to Student Central. This can include concerns about a student’s mental or physical health, program and administrative issues, or other concerns. Student Central staff will review the information provided and determine which services would be best placed to help the student. The student will be contacted and offered support. After you have sent the referral, it is encouraged that you to continue to follow up with the student as appropriate.

Please note, if the student is not aware of the referral and it is a health and wellbeing matter, please contact Student Care and Equity on 4921 6622 to discuss the referral.

Alternatively, the After-Hours Support Line is available for staff to use for information and advice when supporting students.

  • Contact Campus Care

If you have concerns about a student with inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, you can contact the Campus Care Coordinator on 4921 8600.

Campus Care can assist with concerns such as an email or conversation that implies a threat, statements about suicide, a sudden decline in mental health or concerns about a student’s welfare.

Campus Care is not an emergency service and only operates during business hours. All emergencies should be reported to Security and/or Emergency Services.

  • Contact Security or Emergency Services

If you are concerned for the immediate safety of students or staff then please call Security and/or Emergency Services on 000.

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