Benjamin Veness was awarded the 2013 Monash University Churchill Fellowship to explore innovative prevention and early intervention strategies to improve the mental health of university students.
A copy of his report, ‘The Wicked Problem of University Student Mental Health’, is available from his Winston Churchill Memorial Trust page.
The report elucidates seven key findings, with 39 attendant recommendations. The key findings are:
- There must be a ‘tone at the top’ that genuinely commits a university to improving its students’ mental health and wellbeing;
- Mental health task forces with student representation should be used to develop mental health policies and strategies relevant to each institution;
- Australia needs a sectoral leader like The Jed Foundation, in particular one with a strong research capability;
- On-campus treatment services should be supplemented by preventative health strategies and supported by active partnership with local government and private health services;
- Screening programmes are worthwhile when matched with service, and outreach services should be used to target those students who do not or cannot engage via traditional means;
- Regard should be paid to the specific needs of minority groups such as LGBTI and international students; and
- Universities should offer and evaluate mindfulness meditation, which can be taught in groups and with easily-scalable apps.
For a list of upcoming and past speaking engagements at which Benjamin has presented on his Fellowship, please see the Speaking page on this site.
For more information on Churchill Fellowships, including how to apply, please visit the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust website.