National Student Wellbeing Survey Report

The National Union of Students (NUS), with the support of headspace, conducted a National Student Wellbeing Survey in the second half of 2016. The survey investigated how the experiences of students, in terms of their academic, transitional, health and economic stressors, impact their time at university.

There were 3,303 students from 70 universities and TAFE campuses across Australia that participated in the survey, of which 2,637 were aged 16-25 years. It is the first time that the annual NUS survey focused on the mental health of tertiary students, and had the highest response rate to an annual NUS survey.
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The research provides a snapshot of key stressors and factors affecting student wellbeing, with some of the key findings for the 16-25 year old students including:
  • 65% reported high or very high psychological distress.
  • 67% rated their mental health as only fair or poor.
  • 72% reported at least one day in the past month when they were totally unable to work or study due to symptoms of mental health problems.
  • Most students experienced financial stress with about 80% earning less than $400 per week.
  • Only 1.6% reported that no symptoms of mental health problems impacted their study in the past year.
  • Two-thirds found academic experiences in general to be very stressful.