Mental Wellbeing of Chinese International Students: Crisis & Resolutions Forum

IEPCP recently attended this one day Conference was hosted by the Centre for Holistic Health and Study Melbourne.

Key findings:

  • 674,826 international students were enrolled in Australian educational institutions as of April 2019, an increase of 12% above enrolments in 2018. 30% are of Chinese-background.
  • International students face significant challenges around adjusting to a new academic system, learning and coping with a new language, navigating a new culture, financial pressures, learning to be independent, managing crises in their lives and coping with study and life stressors.
  • The evidence shows that 54% of international students experience psychological distress, yet only 9% seek help, and this is most often delayed. Increasing numbers of deaths by suicide and suicidal presentations highlight how important this issue has become.
  • Factors impacting adversely on help seeking include: lack of mental health literacy; stigma associated with mental health (cultural perceptions, shame), influence of family and social networks , and perceptions about causation of mental illness/psychological distress (often viewed as a personality deficit).
  • The evidence shows that building mental health literacy among Chinese international students contributes to positive peer support which can promote help seeking and resilience.
  • While there are cultural differences, these findings have relevance to international students of other ethnic backgrounds.

See here for conference details

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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