After careful consideration, the Australian Mental Health and Higher Education Conference (AMHHEC) Committee has postponed the 2020 conference due to concerns related to the COVID-19. The AMHHEC was scheduled for July, in Brisbane. This postponement is intended to help prevent the potential spread of the virus.
The AMHHEC committee made this decision in consultation with committee members after reviewing several factors related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the implementation of an increasing number of travel restrictions.
Although this decision to postpone the conference is imperative, we understand that this is disappointing for all stakeholders. We plan to continue with a special edition publication later in the years and a free 60 minute virtual workshop. We will keep you informed of these intentions once they are confirmed.
We hope to reschedule AMHHEC once the worldwide situation with COVID-19 has stabilised. We will announce the dates and location of the rescheduled AMHHEC at a future date.
We are seeing how we can transition as much of the work, the goodwill, sponsorships, and planning toward our rescheduled conference. The committee will be notifying all who registered for the conference and will provide information about the conference fee refund process.
Questions regarding refunds can be directed to Margaret Henni.
We thank all stakeholders for their patience and understanding at this time.
Very best wishes
Margaret-Anne Carter and Abraham Francis (Co-Chairs AHMMEC 2020)
Issues, Challenges and Ways Forward
Our 3rd Australasian Mental Health and Higher Education Conference is open to researchers, educators, students, HDR candidates, mental health professionals, consumers, carers, providers, community groups and key organisations in higher education and the broader community. The main focus is working with students, candidates and staff in higher education to improve their experiences and outcomes in higher education. When we have good mental health, we are able to realise our abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work fruitfully and productively, and better contribute to our community (World Health Organisation, 2014).
Our six themes encompass university policy, teaching and learning practices, supporting staff respond to complex mental health issues, whole-of-community approaches, stigma and discrimination reduction, and the role of higher-education in times of disaster:
- Flourishing in higher education – What does resilience and mental health have to do with higher education policy? This theme invites papers on mental health in the higher education policy agenda. Furthermore, it recognises universities as settings for mental health promotion, prevention and intervention.
- Humanising teaching and learning for mental health. This theme invites papers on humanising pedagogy, enhancing mental health through the reconceptualization of curriculum design. It encompasses pedadogy to support students’ transition, engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
- Contemporary approaches supporting staff who are working with students with severe and complex mental health issues. This theme invites papers on effectively educating staff in mental health literacy and in informed responses to severe and complex mental health challenges.
- Integrating whole-of-community approaches to responsive and effective mental health support for people living with mental health issues. This theme invites papers on enablers that are integral to supporting the needs of consumers and carers in higher education and the broader community.
- Working with particular groups including Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, HDR candidates, CALD, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, rural and remote, international, and LGBTIQ+. This theme invites papers on wise ways of improving the experiences and outcomes for students and staff from diverse groups.
- Roles of higher education in times of disasters. This theme invites papers that focus upon the core research and educational dimensions of community disaster preparedness, risk reduction, recovery and resilience. Papers could also explore how to effectively and efficiently mobilise University resources in times of disaster.