It’s 2020, let’s get started!


On behalf of the team here at Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCD), welcome to 2020!

I’m back at the helm of the Student Health and Wellbeing Blog, ready to tackle another year. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been funded under SSAF for the past few years under the eMental Health Strategy. I love this job and as such I am incredibly grateful to all the students who vote in the SSAF process and have made eMental Health a priority.

It takes a while to warm up one’s writing chops, so I started the year with a simple blog post – an invitation to participate in a January challenge – issued by productivity writer Cal Newport. I’ll try over the course of this year to link to more of the people and resources that I use in my own life to achieve productivity and wellbeing.

Those two terms are important: productivity and wellbeing.

If I think about my role here at the university, it is to help students increase their productivity, whilst maintaining or enhancing their wellbeing. By productivity, I mean how much you get done, how efficiently you get it done and the quality of the work you do. By wellbeing I mean primarily your physical and mental health.

I do this by:

  • sharing relevant resources/ideas/tips via this blog
  • doing presentations and workshops around the university on topics like self-care, mental fitness and self-improvement
  • maintaining our self-help library
  • working with topic coordinators to embed wellbeing and productivity components in their courses, AND
  • developing and implementing therapeutic programs

The ultimate goal is that you leave university with a set of productivity and wellbeing habits/skills that you can use across your life. It makes sense that university prepares you for your career, but in reality it prepares you for a lot more than just that. The habits and skills and attitudes you form whilst at university will shape all aspects of your life.

What we’ve got planned

It is customary at the beginning of a new year to say ‘we’ve got a big year planned!‘ and maybe that phrase has lost it’s power over time, but I think it is still a fair assessment of the upcoming year.

I’ll be spending January and February feverishly working away at my Mental Fitness Workbook, hoping for a March launch. The idea at this stage is to support students who engage with the workbook with an online community where they can share victories/challenges and ask me specific questions about the program.

I’ll also be manualising our Studyology V2 program, so we can run it again this year, possibly via Horizon.

Alongside that I will be working with the team at HCD and OASIS to get all our 2020 programs up and running. You see, it isn’t just me that runs wellbeing programs for students. Maureen runs Yoga, Bec runs Mindfulness for Academic Success, Ali runs Wellbeing Ambassadors, Hannah runs Global Communicators (soon to be ‘Flinders Mates’). And that just scratches the surface. Check out the range of programs that OASIS run throughout the year.

The other big focus for me this year is to get more of our materials (particularly self-help library materials) out to our many campuses. Some of our guides like the ‘Evidence-based Study, Exam preparation and Writing Tips‘ and ‘Self-care Mega Guide‘ are very popular here at the Bedford Park campus, where students can get print copies. But because we haven’t (yet) got print copies out to other campuses, many students aren’t aware of these resources. We’ll try to fix that this year.

Over the next few months, myself and many of my colleagues will do talks around the university to new students, giving them tips on how to get off the best start possible. If you know a new student, direct them to an early release version of our ‘Getting Off To A Good Start Guide 2020‘.

Finally, I have some cool collaborations organised with some topic coordinators in specific topics (physio, dietetics, creative arts) to look at different and unique ways to embed wellbeing and productivity content into existing courses. I’ll update you on these as they develop.

Stay up-to-date with us

The Student Health and Wellbeing Blog is where I put all the news about what HCD is doing. If you are not already a subscriber, I suggest you become one.

Other places where you can find out about wellbeing and productivity related stuff are:

The OASIS website

The OASIS Facebook page

Our main website is also handy to remember as it reminds you of the core services we offer: GP, nurses, pathology, counselling and disability advisors

As it is business hours, I will raise a cup of tea to a fantastic 2020! ☕

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eMental Health Resources Flinders services and programs Health Information News Well-being at Flinders

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