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University Mental Health Framework

The draft Australian University Mental Health Framework is available for consultation. Feedback from anyone with an interest in the mental health of Australia’s university students is welcome.

We would like to hear feedback from anyone with an interest in the mental health of Australia’s university students.

To provide your thoughts on the draft framework please complete this survey before midnight (AEST) 31 July 2020.

Note: if you would like to review the draft framework with your peers or colleagues, the survey allows you to provide consolidated feedback as a group or organisation.


The mental health of Australia’s university students has gone under the radar for far too long.

In 2017, an Orygen report found that at least 25 per cent of young university students experienced mental ill-health in any one year.

The report – Under the radar: the mental health of Australian university students – also found that current student counselling and disability services were struggling to meet the escalating volume, complexity and severity of mental ill-health presentations.

Orygen called for national leadership on the issue, including the development of a national framework, and in late 2018 the Australian Government responded with funding for Orygen to develop an Australian University Mental Health Framework to protect students’ mental health.


The Australian University Mental Health Framework provides guidance to support universities and their communities to create a mentally healthy university setting which provides the best opportunities for students to thrive, educationally and personally.

It is an opportunity for universities, health providers and mental health organisations to review and reflect on their current response and identify areas where policy and practice could be initiated or enhanced.

The framework is intended to guide reform and promote approaches that universities, health providers and mental health organisations can consider in their efforts to:

  • promote mental health and wellbeing and prevent mental ill-health for university students;
  • provide effective support for those experiencing mental ill-health to enable them to actively participate in education and society; and
  • create healthy university settings which are conducive to providing protective factors for students’ mental health and wellbeing.


Key stakeholders from various student groups, universities and the mental health sector have helped develop the framework.

To date, Orygen has engaged with over 500 representatives in consultation focussed on proposing solutions, considering new ways of operating, and identifying preferred actions to support the mental health and wellbeing of university students.

An advisory group of senior representatives and individual experts – including university stakeholders, current students and mental health experts – helped to establish and guide the overall structure of the framework, provide sector expertise and advice, and review the proposed content.

Expert working groups comprised of individual experts and group representatives contributed to the evidence base for interventions and made recommendations for actions to be included in the framework.


Orygen will deliver the framework to the Australian Government Department of Health by 31 October 2020.

Further information