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Implementing a Whole-of-Curriculum Approach to Student Wellbeing

Abstract

This article reports and extends on an emerging initiative presetned at the 2018 STARS Conference (Auckland, New Zealand). Many universities are invested in student mental health, but solutions can be hindered by concerns about the fit, cost, effectiveness, or sustainability of diverse initiatives. We argue that university staff looking to support student wellbeing should first consider how their specific university contexts can support or diminish wellbeing, and then design initiatives that will fit within supportive systems. This argument is embedded within dynamic systems theory, which considers how relationships between systems can lead to widespread change when any single system changes. We draw on our own experience so far of preparing and developing a whole-of-curriculum approach to wellbeing to demonstrate that a dynamic systems approach means addressing the needs of multiple stakeholders and remaining flexible to changes within surrounding systems.

Published:
Pages:55 to 63
Section: Articles
1 citation(s) in Scopus
0 citation(s) in Web of Science

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Total Abstract Views: 1812  Total PDF Downloads: 182

Author Biographies

The University of Melbourne
Australia Australia

Dr Abi Brooker is a teaching specialist in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She coordinates and lectures into large cohort undergraduate subjects, including the Capstone subjects, Developmental Psychology, and Lifespan Social & Emotional Development. She is a Mental Health First Aid trainer for tutors and postgraduate students within the School. Her research interests include the consequences and experiences of wellbeing and distress during times of transition.

The University of Melbourne
Australia Australia

Assoc. Prof. Meredith McKague is Convenor of Academic Innovation in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She coordinates and lectures into large cohort undergraduate subjects including the Capstone subjects and Cognitive Psychology. In 2018 she was awarded the MDHS faculty Award for Sustained Excellence in Learning and Teaching recognising her initiative ‘Engaging Curricula, and Assessment of Key Learning Outcomes in Large Undergraduate Psychology Classes’.

The University of Melbourne
Australia Australia

Prof. Lisa Phillips is a clinical psychologist and Director of Professional Programs in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.  Her experience combines assessment and treatment of mental health problems in adolescents and adults with the design and implementation of tertiary level psychology training.