All University staff should respond to students with mental health difficulties in a non-discriminatory, non-stigmatising and positive manner. If a student discloses a mental health difficulty, staff members should encourage the student to seek advice and support from Inclusion and Welfare, the service for students with a disability.
If staff members require advice in relation to a student with a mental health difficulty they should contact the University of Canberra Medical and Counselling Centre
or, depending on the nature of the issue, Inclusion and Welfare
or the Dean of Students (for critical incidents).
All staff members should be aware of their own personal and professional limitations. If they are concerned that a student is exhibiting behaviour that they believe may arise from a mental health disturbance they should seek advice from the Medical and Counselling Centre or suggest the student makes an appointment. If they believe that a student has mental health problems and requires additional support they should refer the student to Inclusion and Welfare.
If someone appears to be in immediate danger of seriously harming themselves or other people, staff should call Security on 6201 2222 and Emergency Services on 000 (or 112 from a mobile phone) and should refer to the University’s Critical Student Incident Management Procedures (see Section 3 of this document).
Under no circumstances should a member of staff accompany a student manifesting symptoms of serious disturbance off-campus, e.g. to the Accident and Emergency Department of the local hospital.
Students need to take responsibility for communicating their needs and seeking support within the University as without this information there can be no offer of support.
Students are encouraged to take care of their own mental health, for example ensuring that they get adequate rest, take prescribed medication and access appropriate support, including support available through the Medical and Counselling Centre and Inclusion and Welfare.
Students should be aware that any behaviour which impacts negatively on fellow students or staff, or is in any way disruptive or offensive, is not acceptable within the University community and will be subject to University procedures for the maintenance of good order (see Section 4 of this document).
Students concerned about a fellow student's mental well-being should be aware of their personal limitations; they should encourage their fellow student to seek specialist support at the earliest opportunity. Students may wish to recommend to their fellow students that support is available through Medical and Counselling Centre and Inclusion and Welfare.
If someone appears to be in immediate danger of seriously harming themselves or other people, students should call Security on 6201 2222 and the Emergency Services on 000 (or 112 from a mobile phone).
Critical Student Incidents
Incidents or behaviours that are potentially “critical student incidents” are those that involve the death of a student, serious injury to or by a student, a threat to the life of a student, a threat by a student to the life of others or a major threat to property involving students. Sometimes, these things will not be deemed a “critical incident” and sometimes they may require management under the terms of the University’s Resilience Management Framework
and Business Continiuty Plan
. Whether or not a staff member believes that a critical student incident arises from a mental health issue, there are procedures to be followed in reporting a critical student incident.
For on-campus incidents
staff or students who are first made aware of a critical incident should immediately contact Emergency Services and University Security (see Contacts List at Appendix 1). If the incident does not warrant immediate referral to Emergency Services, University Security should be advised of the incident. Once the immediate need has been addressed, University Security must report the critical incident to the Dean of Students. For acute and urgent mental health issues, staff members or students may also wish to contact Mental Health ACT Triage for reporting and advice (see Contacts List at Appendix 1).
For off-campus incidents
involving students on University business (e.g. during a field trip or a placement) the incident should be dealt with as though the event had occurred on campus. Other incidents occurring off-campus involving domestic students which do not have an immediate impact on other staff or students of the University do not need to be reported to University personnel. Staff members who become aware of an off-campus critical incident involving an international student who is not on University business should still report the incident to University Security, who will then contact the Dean of Students as soon as possible.
If a staff member is unsure of whether or not a circumstance involving a student should be defined as a critical incident then the matter should be referred to the Dean of Students in the first instance. If the Dean of Students is unavailable the matter should be referred to the Director, Student Connect (see Contacts List at Appendix 1).
Full details relating to the management of critical student incidents can be found at: