Community-Campus Summit on International Students
Monash initiatives and services:
Safety and security
- Mental Health First Aid for students: A two day nationally accredited program which is well regarded for increasing mental health literacy, improving interpersonal skills for team relations and leadership. It teaches skills to engage and provide appropriate help and referral to those demonstrating signs of stress or mental illness, reduces stigma and promotes early intervention. Over 1300 people have received Mental Health First Aid training so instead of there being a 1:3600 ratio when only the campus psychologists had undertaken the training there is now a 1:65 ratio of first aid trainers to students around Monash. Currently students in leadership roles at the Halls of Residence and 500 residents of Monash Residential Services have undergone the training free of charge.
- Peer Mentor Program: This programme aims to support new international students through their transition to university life in Australia. Later-year students use their experience and knowledge to guide new students through the first six weeks of their course.
- Monash Sport and Team Monash: Pilot collaboration with Monash Sport to use exercise as part of clinical treatment group for depression (in development).
- Face-to-face counselling with the focus of building positive coping strategies to facilitate academic progress and early clinical help for more serious mental health issues.
- Clinical groups: Three group programs run by psychologists with pre and post assessment for the treatment of anxiety, depression, self- harming behaviour teach skills and strategies for improving their capacity to deal with life challenges, succeed at study and relationships.
- Mindfulness based stress management training for post graduate students: Based on the Dr Craig Hassed program for medical students (core curriculum) which is proven to reduce stress and improve concentration and focus.
- After hours counselling: An external provider provides after hours and weekend telephone counselling service.
- Safer Community Project: Established as part of the University's commitment to providing a safe work and study environment and to mitigate the risk of violence on campus. The program includes resources, advisory services and education programs. These strategies encourage the University community to seek assistance in managing situations where their well-being is affected be events or inappropriate, threatening or concerning behaviour. This project is now regarded as a benchmark within the higher education sector, and received the 2009 Australian Safer communities Award (9 November 2009).
- Safer community advice and case management: The safer community unit has trained staff who specialise in threat assessment and managing forensic behaviours eg stalking. They work closely with security, the university solicitor, disability liaison unit and mental health team to provide advice and management of complex situations where human behaviour poses a risk to their own or the safety of others.
- Mental health emergency intervention: The University Health Service, Security or mental health team will mobilise appropriate interventions when a mental health crisis occurs. The counselling service staff and safer community staff work closely with Security in the response to any critical incidents - some huge, some minor but where there is the potential to impact on the well being of staff or students eg a suicide on campus, a major accident witnessed. We offer early response for debriefing and psychological first aid, mobilisation of support services and assistance to managers to respond appropriately to psycho-emotional needs of affected staff or students.
- Risk management group and behaviour management systems: A high level collaboration between HR, OHS, Security, Solicitor's office, DLU, safer community where identified risks to safety are monitored and managed through coordinated intervention plans as well as supporting those whose wellbeing is affected by the situation.
- Welfare checks: Activated by mental health or safer community staff when there is cause for concern for example when a depressed suicidal student fails to attend counselling appointment or when an international student fails to respond to efforts by family or Monash staff to make contact.
- Missing persons: Safer community staff will conduct necessary investigations to locate students or staff who have been reported as "missing" either by family or university community.
- Safety info sessions during orientation: As part of the "Live Well Study Well" presentation international students are provided with information about personal safety both on campus and in the community. The aim is to inform students about where and who they can approach if they are concerned. At the beginning of each semester members of the Victoria Police Multicultural Liaison Unit address international students on safety within the community.
- Under 18 welfare support: Trained student advisers work with International students under the age of 18 to offer transitional support particularly in relation to accommodation and general welfare.
- Mental health first aid and tutor training: The goal of training the Monash community is to reduce the stigma of mental health issues in order to promote early help seeking and therefore better recovery and work/study success/retention. Training to assist frontline academic and administrative staff to identify students who may need help with a mental health issue and how to provide assistance and promote early intervention.
- Counselling and stress reduction training: Face to face counselling and online programs to assist students across the full spectrum of presenting concerns from mild stress to serious illness or crises requiring external intervention and treatment.
- On-campus psychiatrist: The on campus psychiatrist provides specialist assessment and recommendations for those students with complex and severe mental health presentations referred by the health and counselling service. A fairly significant part of the mental health work which is embedded counsellors (psychologists) in Law, Arts, Monash College and Business School (Caulfield). This role is different to providing one on one counselling - the embedded psychologist provides service to the faculty on any matters relating to student wellbeing, managing risk and providing early access to advice and first sessions to students directly referred by staff. They are involved in joint projects with faculty staff for example in Law with the student experience manager they are conducting research into the impact of first year Law on engagement and mental health and wellbeing of students. In Monash College the psychologist works closely with the welfare staff to provide psychological expertise and back up where students are demonstrating high risk behaviours or more serious mental health concerns.
- Clinical treatment groups for anxiety, depression and self-harming behaviours: Three group programs run by psychologists with pre and post assessment for the treatment of anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviour teach skills and strategies for improving their capacity to deal with life challenges, succeed at study and relationships.
- Coordinated safety plans: Safer community, security and mental health team develop a coordinated plan with those affected by the behaviour of individuals which addresses psychological and physical safety for the individual of concern and the university community.
- External referrals for specialist treatment eg drug use, eating disorders, psychosis: Counsellors work with the students and external agencies or health professionals to set up ongoing treatment and support.
- Mental health awareness week: Awareness raising activities in line with the national designated theme which aims to reduce stigma and promote early help and intervention.
- Student survival week: During Student Survival Week, HWD works in collaboration with the campus student association to host informative activities that address matters affecting students in their transition to uni. It's especially useful for those juggling many responsibilities in addition to study and enables students to address issues that may have arisen in the first few weeks of university that they may not have anticipated during Orientation.
- Health service: The University Health Services operate as general practices aiming to provide a broad range of general health and medical services for the students and staff of the University community with an emphasis on illness prevention and health education. The services cover areas such as sexual health, family planning, travel health, women's health, sports medicine and psychological assistance in conjunction with other services such as counselling.
- Live Well, Study Well: This orientation programme presents students with strategies for maximising their health and wellbeing during their studies including an introduction to the relevant campus and community services.
- Love and Relationships Forum: A fun and informative session about love and relationships for international students living in Australia. Topics include cross cultural relationships, dating in Australia, and a special female/male only section conducted by experienced counsellors and the campus nurse talking about common relationship issues and coping strategies.
- Community Care Line (9905 1599): Available for non-urgent situations, staffed Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
- 24-hour on-campus emergency number (9905 3333/ext 333): Connects directly to the security control centre for immediate response to threatening on campus situations seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- Emergency phones and intercoms: Located in ALL buildings on ALL Australian campuses these are linked directly to campus security on that campus.
- Security escort service: Available 24 hours a day across all campuses through the security contact number, security personnel accompany students and staff to their car, student residences, and other locations on campus or to the campus perimeter.
- Security bus service: Operational in the evenings between 5.30 pm and 12.15 am, Monday to Thursday at the Clayton and Caulfield campuses. Bus stops are clearly marked and passengers may ask to be driven to their cars.
- Discrimination and Harassment policies and procedures: The University has robust Discrimination and Harassment policies and procedures supported by a team of trained and experienced Discrimination and Harassment Advisers who are readily available to the campus community.
- Secure access to buildings: Security-approved access to buildings after hours and on weekends including card only access to buildings and student computer labs.
- Emergency help points: The Security Emergency Help Point combines modern CCTV and wireless audio in five Clayton campus locations. Pressing the button put you in verbal and visual contact with the campus security control centre and a security patrol can be despatched to the location. The service operates 24 hours a day seven days a week. Berwick campus offers an intercom at its main entry door; and Gippsland and Peninsula campuses also has intercoms at various locations around each campus.
- Campus Watch program: Designed to actively involve members and representatives of campus communities in promoting security awareness, recommending and implementing appropriate activities in support of personal safety and security on their own campus. A Campus Watch Committee has been established at each of the Victorian campuses, and Campus Watch is a standard item on all Student Experience Network meetings across all Victorian campuses.
- Electronic Campus Security Network: The University boasts the latest in security technology across its on and off campus and facilities. The widespread application of high performance closed circuit television (CCTV), electronic building access controls, proximity card readers at facility entry points, intruder and emergency alarm all combine to enhance the security and safety of the university environment. Our security network is continuously monitored and managed by specially trained operators located in the security control centre.
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