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International students to receive mental health education during COVID-19

A group of batyr students
A group of batyr students

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 in 2020 has been especially challenging 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.

To ensure international students studying in Australia are provided with the appropriate support networks to continue to thrive abroad, we’ve partnered with batyr to deliver both online and in-person mental health education programs and speaker development workshops.

In addition, our $110,000 partnership will also allow batyr to train program delivery facilitators to deliver these engaging programs to international students, so they better understand the support available to them to keep on top of their mental health and wellbeing.

Through the delivery of batyr’s programs, we aim to 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.

This is particularly important amongst international students, with research suggesting that while 83.9% of international students experience elevated psychological distress, only 34.5% will engage in help-seeking behaviours.
The programs include:

  • 22 batyr@uni programs: 60-90 minute educational mental health programs designed to reduce mental health stigma, promote mental health literacy, provide education about culturally-appropriate support services, foster informal community care networks and empower students to reach out for support when they need it.

  • Being Herd international student speaker training: Workshop-style training with a group of 7-10 international students aged 18-30 who learn how to share their experiences of mental ill-health safely and effectively with their peers. In doing so, they encourage their peers to start important conversations and reach out for support when they need it. For students who are unable to attend the workshops, batyr will provide one-on-one training and speaker development.

Find out more about batyr and the educational programs they deliver.