Title

Health and wellbeing in students with very high psychological distress from a regional Australian university

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Mulder, AM, Cashin, A, 2015, 'Health and wellbeing in students with very high psychological distress from a regional Australian university', Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 72-83.

Published version available from:

http://doi.org/10.1080/18374905.2015.1035618

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Health and wellbeing in students from a regional Australian university was assessed. The aim of the study was to explore the health profile of students with very high levels of psychological distress compared to students with low distress levels. Through an online survey, health and wellbeing characteristics were determined. Very high psychological distress (Kessler-10) was reported by 16.5% of students; items contributing most to distress related to feeling tired, nervous and ‘everything being an effort’. Students with very high levels of distress were, over the previous 30 days, unable to work or study for 10 days and needed to cut down on work for an additional 12 days. Forty-eight percent reported very high financial stress while 83% could not find $2,000 within a week for something important. Twenty-seven percent reported a disability; 63% of these reported a mental health disorder. Twenty-two percent felt bullied within the university while 64% felt bullied outside the university. Ninety-six percent reported low mental wellbeing, while just over 50% ‘rarely’ or ‘none of the time’ liked themselves, felt close to others, or felt confident. They reported the lowest level of help-seeking from friends and family and the highest level of internet use. In conclusion, these students, representing nearly one-sixth of all students from the university reviewed, were a highly vulnerable cohort requiring significant care and support.