NUPSA talks a lot about its workshops and events, but what about all the other support and advocacy work we do? Starting this month, we’ll be giving you a closer look at the projects we’re working on behind the scenes to improve your student experience at UON.
The UON Crisis Support Line has recently gone live, offering out-of-hours crisis counselling services between the hours of 5pm and 9am, and all day on weekends, public holidays and UON shut-down days. The project was established to ensure that qualified counsellors were available for students at all times. It has been developed by Student Care and Equity in consultation with and support from the student associations.
NUPSA’s role in the consultation process is to ensure that the postgraduate student voice is heard throughout the decision-making process, and the unique aspects of the postgraduate student experience are taken into account.
Given the increasing number of postgraduate students across the country suffering mental health issues, and the high stress associated with undertaking higher degree research, the UON Crisis Support Line provides another avenue of support and assistance for struggling students. All student associations pledged financial support for the project, and it is our hope that the University will fund the UON Crisis Support Line for students and staff in the coming years to provide experienced support and guidance for struggling individuals.
The service itself was developed based upon the Crisis support model from Lifeline, and is staffed by fully qualified, paid counsellors who receive additional training on the University, University services, and aspects of the student experience. There are then three pathways within the model that are tailored to respond to crisis callers, callers with suicidal ideation, and callers with mental health issues.
The intention of the service is to provide immediate, short-term support for staff and students to assist in dealing with current problems in living that are overwhelming their capacity to cope and may be threatening their safety. With the service being available in low periods (such as weekends and the University break period), postgraduate students have an extra layer of support that are aware of the unique student experience and pressures that stem from the HDR process, and are available to provide support throughout break periods when many services on campus are operating with decreased hours or are closed.
Callers will receive support, alleviation of immediate distress, information on coping options, and appropriate reference to other support services at the University of Newcastle where more long-term support is required.
The telephone number is 1300 653 007 and the text line is 0488 863 216.
For a full guide to mental health and well-being resources offered by the University of Newcastle, check out their website, here.