Mental Health Week – a few reflections


This post is one of a small series of posts that went ‘behind the scenes’ of Mental Health Week 2019 (MHW2019). The others included early preparations, the visual design language of MHW2019 and core messaging.

Ali from OASIS sent me a neat visual summary of all the activity that happened during Mental Health Week @ Flinders.

I’ve included it below.

This was one of the first events I’ve been involved with where we managed to get some good collaboration happening between the different parts of the university that were interested in doing stuff to promote mental health in the university – FUSA, OASIS, HCDS, Art Museum, Mad Tea Co.

That might sound like a relatively small achievement, but universities are big places. Often the different parts of a university don’t always work together in perfect harmony.

But Mental Health Week brought together these groups (as well as many community organisations) to put on events and initiatives that attracted a good number of students across both Sturt and Main campuses.

It also meant each of us could work to our relative strengths. FUSA are great on social media and gave the week its identity and feel. HCDS and OASIS focused on clarifying the key messages of the week and ensuring that we had the right community organisations on campus. The Mad Tea Co were able to promote their philanthropic beverage efforts and the Art Museum was able to use its resources to engage students via the medium of art, which is a specialist area of mental health.

Where to next year?

Next year I want to reach more students by ensuring that those who are not on the main campus have things they can participate in. I’d really like to work out a way to host an online event that students can participate in. In a previous job, the organisation I worked for hosted a multi-day online event where participants could start and participate in conversations and propose and vote on new ideas for the organisation. It was really well received by workers and generated a lot of ideas that were subsequently used by the university for planning purposes.

The other thing that I’d like to do is run a few small workshops/lunchtime lectures at different locations (main, Sturt, Tonsley, City) on the topics of mental fitness and self-care. We produce handouts on such topics and write regularly on it on the blog, but there is nothing quite like digging into these topics with a bunch of people in the room.

What would you like to see for future Mental Health Weeks at Flinders?


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