Counsellors on University Campuses – Establishment

A network of university campus counsellors will identify early onset psychosis, substance abuse and family support needs for students, and arrange referral to appropriate specialist and mainstream community services.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

PDF printable version of Counsellors on University Campuses - Establishment (PDF 40 KB)

Why is this important?

  • Tertiary students may have problems with substance abuse, mental illness, and/or need family support. Over one in three people in the 20-39 year old age group indicate that they use illicit drugs. Illicit drug use is closely related to a range of other problems including depression, anxiety, family breakdown and other stresses of life. The tertiary sector is an ideal setting in which to deliver services and intervene earlier.
  • A network of university campus counsellors will be established to focus on identifying early onset psychosis, substance abuse and family support needs (including for sole parents) and arranging referral to appropriate specialist and mainstream community services.

Who will benefit?

  • Around 945,000 people were enrolled in higher education institutions in 2004. Since three-quarters of all mental health problems begin before the age of 25, a sizeable proportion of this population is at risk and will be helped by the measure.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government is providing funding of $19.8 million over four years from 2006-07 to support the establishment of the non-government network. The funding will also be used to raise awareness of the issues within the sector by adapting information and other resources developed under the Government’s other drug and mental health programmes.

What have we done in the past?

  • The Government has invested more than $1 billion in its National Illicit Drug Strategy since 1997, including more than $124 million to the Non-Government Organisation Treatment Grants Programme. The Government has also provided funding of $69 million to a Youth Mental Health Foundation to be a centre of excellence in
    youth mental health and related drug and alcohol problems.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • Funding has been allocated for the next four years and will be reviewed in the 2010-11 Budget.

In this section