Get ahead in all things VET. Become a member today.
      Forgot password?
Sign up or sign in

VET News

Investing in Mental Wellbeing Pays Off for RTO Students

Investing in Mental Wellbeing Pays Off for RTO Students image

Mental health challenges often go unrecognised in our students and perhaps even in ourselves. We attribute it to just another stressful day or a particularly busy week, brushing aside the nagging feelings that something deeper might be at play.

It can begin subtly, but even if these mental whispers grow louder, we often press on, labelling them as mere distractions, not symptoms.

Even if physical signs start to manifest — a persistent headache, unexplained fatigue — still, we may fail to see them for what they truly are: the physical echoes of mental health challenges.

In Australia, mental health challenges are more common than many might think.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 43% of people aged 16–85 years have experienced a mental health challenge at some time in their life. That’s almost 1 in 2 people.

Mental health issues are widespread, touching almost half of the population over their lifetime.

The Truth of Mental Health Challenges for Students

Let’s look at how this plays out in our students.

Nearly half (46%) of young Australians aged 16–25 years reported that study stress significantly impacted their mental health and wellbeing, according to a report by ReachOut Australia. Additionally, 75% reported a lack of motivation, and 71% reported mood changes due to study stress.

Perhaps the innovative idea of a student is left unspoken in their tutorial because of their silent struggle with anxiety. With hybrid working environments, it may be hard for trainers and assessors to get a good sense of whether someone is quiet because of their personality or because of mental health struggles.

The 2023 Headspace National Youth Mental Health Survey found that only half of young people feel confident succeeding in their next career stage. This shows that while young people might be building real skills and competencies, they may not feel as though they are confident to succeed in future.

Another report from Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation shows that almost two-thirds of young people feel left out often or some of the time (62%), with many feeling cut off from the world. This shows how pervasive mental health challenges can be.

What can Trainers and Assessors do?

Training is an important first step. Becoming accredited as a Mental Health First Aider has many practical benefits for trainers and assessors.

Educators and support staff trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) can:

  • Recognise signs of low self-esteem and anxiety related to career prospects
  • Provide initial support to students struggling with low self-esteem and anxiety
  • Encourage open discussions about fears and insecurities
  • Offer reassurance and strategies to build confidence in students
  • Identify students who feel disconnected
  • Implement strategies to foster a sense of belonging
  • Create inclusive environments, encouraging peer support
  • Create a supportive environment that can help reduce the stigma around mental health
  • Enhance their understanding of their own mental health and resilience
  • Guide students towards professional help when necessary

Get Your Mental Health First Aid Certification With MiTraining

Our partner, MiTraining offers Mental Health First Aid courses across Australia, with the option to complete corporate Mental Health First Aid training with a small group of your staff in your office or virtually.

MiTraining delivers courses designed by Mental Health First Aid Australia. MHFAA is on a mission to provide high-quality mental health education to everybody, and MiTraining is here to support that goal. During the Mental Health First Aid course, you will learn to understand mental health needs and support your team like never before and on successful completion, you will receive your Mental Health First Aid Certification and the title Mental Health First Aider.

Book a course at

Date posted Mar 28, 2024

Contact us

Need some help? Visit our help section to get answers to your questions.

start livechat