The increasing number of tertiary education students presenting with complex and often difficult to manage mental health conditions, has been topical in international literature for over two decades. In a qualitative research study undertaken at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) of the lived experience of students with chronic psychological disorders, the importance of feeling connected with a like-peer that was empathetic and accepting rated strongly in the responses of all participants. Students sought shared insight into how others were able to successfully cope with the rigours of academia, while also managing the demands of an unpredictable health condition. Two programs, based upon international good practice frameworks, were initiated in response to the identified unmet need of authentic peer support.
Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association / Vol. 41, pp.32-34