Student mental health : why taking a public health approach is necessary

Smith, Elina Zalkalne and Long, Emily and Tse, Dwight and Verrall, Ella and Feeny, Annabella and dos Santos Sousa, Fabienne and Cogan, Nicola (2024) Student mental health : why taking a public health approach is necessary. Education Today. (

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A public health approach to student mental health provides educational institutions a framework to provide care that can reduce demand on counselling and mental health services and increase student wellbeing and resilience. Extending beyond individual-level interventions that target specific populations, diagnoses, risk factors and treatments (i.e. increasing the number of on-campus counsellors or developing an alcohol prevention program), a public health approach adopts a wider systems perspective, considering social, psychological economic, environmental and contextual factors that can synergistically impact on mental health and wellbeing.