Mental Health Support Services for International Students – Did you know?

Mental Health Support Services for International Students – Did you know?

Under the law (National Code) education providers must provide access to affordable mental health support services and, students must be told about this at orientation.

All providers should have this info listed on websites or hand books under “student support services” or “health and welfare”. Good providers regularly remind students about these services through various channels.

Here are a few links:

https://sydney.edu.au/students/counselling-and-mental-health-support.html

https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/future/student-life/student-welfare-service.htmlhttps://student.unsw.edu.au/wellbeing

https://www.usc.edu.au/learn/student-support/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-mind/counselling-services

https://www.uow.edu.au/student/services/cs/index.html

https://www.aim.edu.au/student-life/student-supporthttps://students.mq.edu.au/support/wellbeing/counselling-services

https://www.griffith.edu.au/student-services/welfare-and-financial-assistance

https://www.canberra.edu.au/current-students/canberra-students/student-support/student-welfare

https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/support-and-facilities/student-support/counselling

https://www.boxhill.edu.au/for-students/student-support/counselling/

Just go to your uni website and search “counselling” or “health and welfare” or “support services” or ask your student advisor to make an appointment for you.

ISANA media release – Miss Aiia Masarwe

The ISANA International Education Association is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Israeli exchange student Miss Aiia Maasarwe.

The circumstances surrounding her death are unfolding and we urge the public to support the ongoing
investigations of the Victoria Police.
‘From news reports, ISANA does not believe that Miss Masarwe was targeted because she was an
international student.’ says Bronwyn Gilson, National President.

‘Australia is a safe country for international students, but international students as do all of us, need to be aware of our surroundings and take precautions when travelling alone and especially late at night.’

ISANA has extended its support and condolences to the international student support staff at La Trobe
University where Miss Masarwe was studying. ‘Our network of members is always available to work or talk with colleagues to support them through
difficult events such as this,’ adds Bronwyn.

ISANA extends its deepest condolences to the staff at La Trobe University and to the family and friends of Aiia Masarwe.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Bronwyn Gilson at 0400 852 226 or
email at president@isana.org.au

Media Release: Response to Coroner’s recommendations – Zhikai LU

The ISANA International Education Association has noted the findings and recommendations
of the Victorian Coroner into the untimely death of Mr. Zhikai LU.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the circumstances leading to his death.
ISANA supports the findings of the Coroners Prevention Unit (CPU).
Mental health concerns amongst international students are an ongoing issue for education providers in the sector.

Early identification, intervention and support are crucial for the well-being of these young people.
The report confirms the difficulties that international students encounter in settling into a new culture.
The report also notes the many issues that hamper international students seeking help for their difficulties.
ISANA agrees with these findings.
As Australia welcomes increasing numbers of international students, it is expected that we would also see a corresponding increase in numbers of students with mental health concerns.
This reflects any demographic profile.
The important issues for ISANA are as follows;

 Education providers need to understand the issues and challenges for international students

 International students rely on trusted sources for information, often their social networks and home country sources

 International students do not necessarily identify feelings and behaviours as symptoms of mental health concerns

 Mental health is not often discussed or addressed in the respective cultures of the students

 Underlying mental health issues can manifest themselves in times of stress, such as living and studying in a new culture and particularly when the student is not performing well or encounters other stressors, that they have little experience or support in addressing

ISANA believes that we need to understand how international students access assistance so that they are better prepared to intervene or get help.

To this end, ISANA through its Victoria/Tasmania Branch is undertaking a research project funded by Study Melbourne’s International Student Welfare Program. This project in partnership with A/Professor Shanton Chang from the University of Melbourne and A/Professor Catherine Gomes from RMIT will be looking at the knowledge of international students of critical incidents and how they seek help. The aim is to develop with students and emergency services, a specialised mobile accessible website, with comprehensive social media strategies.

The website aims to educate and inform international students on what to do during a critical incident and will have a section that teaches student support staff and local councils on how to educate international students in dealing with critical incidents.

ISANA notes that a key finding for the CPU is the role that education providers should play in reaching out and supporting their international students. ‘We believe that understanding the challenges faced by international students in
identifying they need help and then accessing support is fundamental to developing appropriate strategies.

We also believe that more needs to be done in supporting the staff that support the students,’ says Bronwyn Gilson, National President of ISANA.
‘We need to understand the different cultures of our international students and provide the professional development and resources for staff so that they can develop and provide
culturally appropriate support and assistance to students.’

For more information:
Bronwyn Gilson
National President
ISANA International Education Association
president@isana.org.au

QLD: Project Global Citizen Survey

Project Global Citizen is a ground-breaking approach to on-boarding international studentsand optimising their experience in Australia.

A pilot project has been awarded Queensland Government support through the Queensland International Education and Training Partnership Fund (IET Partnership Fund) managed by Study Queensland at Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ). For more information about Project Global Citizen and the consortium, here is the link: http://bit.ly/ProjectGlobalCitizen

Working hand-in-hand with Study Queensland, the Project Global Citizen consortium comprises ISANA Qld, Alphacrane Intercultural Specialists and CTC, Cultural Transition Consulting.

ISANA Qld President Samantha Hilbig is the project sponsor for Project Global Citizen.

2018 Survey and Cultural Quiz for International Students and Industry Professionals

The 2018 Project Global Citizen Survey will measure the cultural challenges that international students encounter during their studies in Queensland.

This will be Queensland’s most extensive global survey to date for identifying cultural competency gaps of students in relation to academic learning, social integration, securing
internships, employment and safety.
Key survey findings will be shared with participating international education industry members to enhance their delivery of services to international students.

The survey findings will also inform the development of Project Global Citizen programs and resources that equip international students with cultural skills to survive and thrive in Australia.

International students who take the survey will receive a personalised Cultural Adjustment Risk Assessment as well as Cultural Adjustment Tips to help them achieve success in their
student experience.

The survey is open until 31 October 2018 and can be accessed from
projectglobalcitizen.com

Fair Work Ombudsman: Working in Australia Resources

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has released a comprehensive package of materials designed to assist those who work with migrant and multicultural communities – including international students – about workplace laws in Australia.

The ‘Working in Australia’ package will be particularly helpful to education providers required to educate international students about workplace laws as part of their compliance obligations under the ESOS National Code 2018.

The package includes:

 

Safety Video Resources

Safety Video Resources

Melbourne Based ‘Meld’ Magazine is delivering an International Student Safety Campaign, supported by Victoria Police, to strengthen early information provision, raise awareness among international students around identified areas of concern, and to encourage students to change their behaviours to stay safe.

They have launched a digital campaign entitled “Think Smart, Stay Safe” as the main part of the International Student Safety Campaign, which contains a series of guides, videos and articles produced with assistance from Victoria Police.

You can view the resources here:

Calls for comment on Sydney City International Education Action Plan

From the City of Sydney Website…

We invite your feedback on our international education action plan. The plan includes actions to support international students and help them form lifelong connections with Sydney.

The actions in the plan include:
  • welcoming international students into the Sydney community when they arrive
  • providing a rewarding study experience with access to wellbeing resources and opportunities to participate in city life
  • increasing opportunities to gain meaningful work experience
  • strengthening connections with the local community
  • nurturing our connections with global alumni.

These actions all aim to sustain Sydney’s position as a leading education destination in Australia and across the globe.

We would like to hear from people in the tertiary international education sector including students, alumni, education providers, support services, supporting businesses, accommodation providers education agents and residents.

Your feedback will help shape a collaborative plan and help provide a harmonious experience to international students.

How to give your feedback

You can view the plan and provide your feedback by emailing sydneyyoursay@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au(External link).

You can complete an online survey about our plan. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2WTJDZG

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 20 April 2018.

Other ways to give us your feedback

We want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to provide ideas and feedback.

If you prefer to talk to us in person, please contact the City of Sydney officer listed under who’s listening.

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us through the National Relay Service(External link). You will need to provide our phone number 02 9265 9333.

If you need an interpreter you can contact us through the Translating and Interpreting Service(External link) on 131 450. You will need to provide our phone number 02 9265 9333.

Contact Us

ISANA Secretariat
isana@isana.org.au
Hours: Monday & Wednesday 9.30 am – 2.30 pm

 

228 Liverpool Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Ph: +61 3 6231 0253

 

ISANA International Education Association Inc
ABN: 42 335 124 078

 

 

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