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Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) As part of its commitment to develop programs that support a healthy and safe workplace and environment, the Western Sydney University has implemented a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for its staff and students. This aligns with the University's strategy of promoting a culturally diverse and inclusive community that enables equity of access, supports the promotion of positive health and provides flexible and responsive experiences to meet differing needs of staff and students.

(2) This policy applies to all staff and students and other members of the University Community. It does not form part of any contract with staff and may be varied from time to time by the University in its discretion.

(3) This policy should be read in conjunction with other University policies and documents relevant to health and safety and mental health and wellbeing. These include the Disability Policy; Disability Action Plan; Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy; Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy; Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy and Guidelines; Health Safety and Wellbeing Policy; and Medical Assistance Policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. mental health is a state of wellbeing in which every person realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to their community.
  2. mental ill-health can include a range of symptoms that compromises a person's wellbeing and ability to live his or her life to its full potential, including work or study. It does not necessarily involve a diagnosed or diagnosable mental disorder or disability.
  3. stigma is a broad term which is used to describe the negative and stereotypical thoughts, attitudes, and feelings about people on the basis of the traits of a person, which can include gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, religion and mental ill-health.
  4. University Community means University staff, students, visitors, contractors, related entities and other individuals or external organisations which may be affected by University operations.
  5. wellbeing means a state of mental and physical health characterised by comfort and happiness.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The Western Sydney University aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing, as part of its overall commitment to creating a healthy and safe workplace and environments for the University Community.

(6) The University is committed to implementing a number of strategies to achieve this, including:

  1. promoting positive mental health and wellbeing through policies, support services, information networks and regular health promotion campaigns.
  2. encouraging staff and students to adopt healthy lifestyle choices through active participation in a range of initiatives that support health and wellbeing.
  3. encouraging staff and students to adopt healthy lifestyle choices through the development of environments that support health and wellbeing.
  4. engaging with external agencies to promote mental health and wellbeing and develop strategic partnerships to streamline effective supports to staff and students.
  5. providing an environment that encourages staff and students to seek support early if they have declining mental health, and, as appropriate, provide support and adjustments suitable to their work or study needs to help them to achieve their potential.
  6. providing education and professional development to all staff to further develop mental health and wellbeing awareness and appropriate support for the University Community.
  7. increasing awareness and providing education around stigma and discrimination in respect of mental ill-health in order to encourage staff or students to seek support and to improve the capacity of staff and students to respond effectively to support others.
  8. promoting a responsive community that requires all employees and students to take reasonable care in view of any reasonably foreseeable circumstance that may arise, which affects the safety of self or others. Safety of the University Community is the first priority.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(7) Nil

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(8) Refer to the University's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and associated information and resources.