university support program

In partnership with Australian universities, headspace aims to build the capacity of the higher education sector to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing outcomes for staff and students.

Tertiary students experience poorer mental health than the general population (Productivity Commission, 2019). Being a student is associated with stressors that can affect mental health, including academic demands, living away from home and support networks, and financial stresses. International students may also face language and cultural challenges. Therefore, it’s important that we build the capacity of staff to better support their students’ mental health and wellbeing.

What is the University Support Program?  

The University Support Program provides training and education opportunities to Australian universities to build their capacity and confidence to engage in conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

We work with a three-stage approach: 

  1. Planning
    • Preparing the community through training and education, consultations and implementation of frameworks so that in the event of exposure to suicide, you are in the best place to respond appropriately. 
    • We use a conversational approach to help you: 
      • Notice what is happening for a student or colleague,
      • Inquire about what you have noticed and,
      • Provide appropriate support in the context of your role within the university.
        (See the Real Talk resource for a detailed explanation) 

  2. Response
  3. Recovery
    • Following a critical incident, we can provide further training and education on the Responding to suicide toolkit, as well as consultation and review of the university suicide prevention and postvention policy and frameworks. 

Training and education sessions (see workshops below) are available either online or in-person; they are interactive, strengths-based, and evidence-informed, and can also be modified to align with existing mental health and wellbeing initiatives at your university.

headspace can also work with you to develop and strengthen mental health and wellbeing frameworks, including a tailored approach to responding to a suicide that impacts your university community.

How can my university benefit from this program? 

  • Staff may feel more confident and skilled to engage in conversations about mental health and wellbeing particularly when they are concerned about a student, or colleague,

  • Feel better equipped to respond to the suicide of a student that promotes help-seeking and reduces risk for the community,

  • Strengthen the mental health support available to students by increasing awareness of the referral pathways to appropriate Local, State and National support services. 


For more information about how headspace can support your university: 

Contact us today


We offer three different workshops online via zoom or in-person. Open to all staff of universities.

1. Introduction to the University Support Program- 30 minutes

Learn about the available training, how postvention support can be tailored to suit your needs and what resources are available to help reduce risk and enhance safety at your university.

2. Real talk: a conversational approach to supporting university students and staff - 60 minutes

This workshop will help you: Notice changes in a person's mood or behaviours that may indicate mental health difficulties, inquire about what you have noticed and provide timely and appropriate support.

3. Responding to suicide: a toolkit to support Australian universities- 75 minutes

Learn about the available toolkit for responding to suicide and the practical steps required to implement the tools and support your university in the immediate, short-term, and longer-term phases of a postvention response.

See the full schedule of workshops and register on Eventbrite. 



These resources are supported by the accompanying workshops.
Real Talk: an approach to engaging in conversations about mental health and wellbeing.
Responding to suicide: a toolkit for Australian Universities

Suicide postvention support

Responding to the suicide of a student or member of your university community requires a coordinated, evidence- informed and the timely provision of support to reduce risk and enhance safety. 

Contact us for implementation support and guidance.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Find a date and time that suits you on our Eventbrite page and register your details. You will then receive a confirmation email with a link to join online.  

If you cannot attend any of the workshops currently scheduled on Eventbrite, please contact us on 

If you are interested in scheduling one of our workshops specifically for your staff, we can modify the content to align with your existing mental health and wellbeing initiatives. 

Please email to organise. 

The headspace University Support Program has received grant funding from the Australian Government under its National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program.