Postgraduate study can be tremendously stressful in and of itself and events happening outside of your academic life can have a substantial impact on your wellbeing. It can be easy to ignore that stress or feel as though your problems aren’t bad enough to warrant seeking help. Everyone has their own way of dealing with these issues but in the same way that it’s okay to see a doctor even if you just have a cold, it’s okay to seek someone to talk to if you are just feeling really stressed. For that reason there are resources available to those of you who are looking for them so we’ve collected some useful resources here. We’ve tried to collate a range of resources, some focussed on mental health and some on academic performance and life balance. Some are specific to postgraduates or students at The University of Sydney but we’ve included some more general information if you don’t know where to start.
If you have access to Medicare then you can book an appointment with your GP and you may be able to obtain a mental health care plan. This will entitle you to subsidized access to the services of a psychologist or allied health professional. For more information on obtaining a mental health care plan, Headspace is a useful resource. This is a mental health-focussed service but don’t feel as though you need to have an extreme condition in order to seek help. If it is affecting your life then it matters.
School of Psychology Clinic
The School of Psychology hosts a clinic where you can find affordable ($10/session for students at The University of Sydney) psychology services conducted by trainee clinical psychologists from the school. The clinic caters to people experiencing a wide range of issues but if you are experiencing problems related to the stress of graduate study this might be a really good opportunity to talk to someone with lived experience in that area.
The University of Sydney Counselling and Psychological Serivices (CAPS)
The university offers professional and confidential mental health services through CAPS. This section of the university website also offers material related to burnout, lifestyle balance and workshops on general wellbeing. This can be a good resource to explore at any time in your HDR tenure as you try to work out a balanced lifestyle given the few formal constraints of HDR life.
Safer Communities on Campus
The Safer Communities on Campus team is another group within the university website working on student wellbeing. You can use their portal to make an anonymous disclosure of an incident or lodge a complaint and have that incident investigated. You may also ask a student or staff member to make a disclosure on your behalf. This is also a valuable resource for those seeking psychological help following any such incident.