Studying abroad, while exciting, can present a unique set of challenges as you learn to adapt to a new culture and way of living without the comforts of home and family.
For international students, studying has been especially tough with COVID-19 restrictions making it harder for students to form those informal social connections and build strong support networks that you often find at university.
In addition, research suggests that not enough students are reaching out for support and while 83.9% of international students experience elevated psychological distress, only 34.5% will engage in help-seeking behaviours.
To help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and create an environment for students to reconnect and talk about mental health and the challenges they’re facing, we partnered with batyr to deliver a series of online and in-person mental health education programs.
The programs included60 - 90 minute educational mental health sessions, providing students with the appropriate skills and resources to look after their mental health. In addition, the partnership allowed batyr to deliver workshop-style speaker training to help students learn how to share their experiences of mental ill-health safely and effectively with their peers.
The funding also enabled batyr to train program delivery facilitators to deliver engaging programs to international students, so they better understand the support available to them to keep on top of their mental health and wellbeing.
The funding allowed batyr to deliver 30 programs which reached over 2,400 university students, including 1,600 who were studying internationally in Australia.
Additionally, a survey of 230,000 students across all their programs found that,68% of students indicated they are more likely to seek help and 100% of participants strongly agreed they felt more confident to share their lived experience with mental ill-health.
Additionally, 100% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that their story could have a positive impact when shared with others.
By offering these programs to Australian and international students, we hope to equip them with the knowledge of the support networks, mental health resources and connections available to them to continue to thrive abroad.