More than 1.4 million students are studying at Australia’s universities with the majority being young people. And with 75% of all mental health illnesses beginning in adolescence and young adulthood before the age of 24, their time at Uni is a critical period of vulnerability for mental ill-health.
Adding to this is the declining mental health of university students, with 25% having been diagnosed with a mental illness and 98.4% experiencing symptoms of mental health problems that have impacted their studies in the past year. The impact of COVID-19 has further exacerbated the issue, creating upheaval in education delivery and major long-term career and economic uncertainty.
The team of neuroscience and mental health experts at Monash University’s BrainPark will develop and pilot the PEAK program, a fun and empowering behaviour change program that seeks to embed regular physical exercise into the lifestyles of Australian university students to improve their mental health, cognitive health, and brain health.
A world-first amalgamation of innovative and rigorous practices from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, exercise physiology, human behaviour change, and implementation research the cutting-edge program aims to get student physically active for the betterment of all aspects of their wellbeing and PEAK-performance.
The PEAK program aims to improve the mental, cognitive and brain health of Australian university students and equip them with healthy habits to maintain these for a lifetime.