ANNOUNCEMENT: Increase in Counselling Support for Students
In the 2018 Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Survey approximately 67% of respondents identified promoting the health or welfare of students and helping students obtain employment or advice on careers as the top two areas of importance for SSAF expenditure.
In response to this the Griffith University Postgraduate Students Association (GUPSA) joined with the SRC to pilot the Wellness Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (WALi) at the end of 2018, before a full launch in Trimester 1 this year. Our WALi team through our Wellness HQs have to date engaged with hundreds of students in discussions about mental health and wellbeing. One of the things these discussions have highlighted are the difficulties students face when trying to access counselling appointments for ongoing support. As well as WALi, in trimester 1 GUPSA sponsored Student Success to trial a peer mentoring program for postgraduate and HDR students; GUPSA will be continuing this program from trimester 2 onwards as part of our ongoing support for all postgraduate and HDR students.
For the above reasons, when approached by Griffith University in May for assistance to fund additional counselling and career advice positions, GUPSA felt compelled to be of support. Over the last month, GUPSA have been working to determine how we can support these vital new positions without impacting too significantly upon the services and experiences you have come to expect from GUPSA.
We are proud to announce that we are contributing $50,000 towards funding 2 new counsellors and 2 career advisors to be employed by Student Services commencing soon. We anticipate these new positions will make a great contribution to the improvement of student mental health and wellbeing.
Allocating this significant contribution of funding to Student Services does mean that GUPSA have had to review our services and activities for the remainder of 2019, especially those we provide together with the SRC. As a result, you may find that some things are a bit different. Regrettably, there will be some reductions in free food and off-campus activities in trimester 2, and we won’t be providing diaries for 2020. We will also not be hosting an end-of-trimester celebration at the Unibar in trimester 2. However, our end of year party at the Ship Inn in December will still be going ahead. We understand that this will be disappointing for some students, but we hope you will join us in celebrating the expansion of vital services that promote students’ mental health and wellbeing.
GUPSA and other student associations will be working with the University regarding future SSAF expenditure so that we can continue to provide a diverse range of services and activities to students, whilst also ensuring the ongoing support and promotion of students’ mental health and wellbeing.
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