Health information and advice
Mental health, sexual health, nutrition. Frank info, no holds barred.
Health is important and all too easy to take for granted. Just think about the last time you were struck down by a cold, and realised that you never quite appreciated the joy of breathing through both nostrils. The overwhelming experience of university, with its exam-stress lows and victorious end-of-semester highs, means it's even easier to forget our health, right when it matters the most. That's why we have initiatives like the H.Squad and information hubs (like this on here) to help.
University isn’t all sunshine, rainbows and late morning lectures. Sometimes it’s more like a downpour of exams, or cloudy from exhaustion with a chance of infuriating group assignment. Roughly 1 in 5 Australians will suffer from a mental health disorder each year. And uni students are even more likely to be affected. In fact, 4 in every 5 students report feeling stressed or anxious. So chances are the topic of mental health is going to come up in your time here.
To help prepare you, we’re breaking down stigma and the facts of what you need to know. Here, you can do everything from learn how to identify potential warning signs in yourself and others, to understand and action what happens next when you need help.
The Things I've Thought
A guide to seeing a mental health professional
How to talk about mental health
The many shades of stress
What does burnout look like?
Owning anxiety and depression
National organisation providing information and support for young people aged 16 to 25. Has an online support service where you can talk one-on-one with an eheadspace clinician via an online chat, email or over the phone. Find out more.
National organisation providing information and support for all ages. Also has an online chat service (3pm to midnight), phone and email support lines. Find out more.
Black Dog Institute
National organistion providing information, support and 'self tests' for a range of mental health conditions including depression and bipolar disorder. Find out more.
Free digital mental health support from SilverCloud Health
SilverCloud Health is a leading digital mental health and wellbeing platform providing evidence-based, confidential and judgement-free support. It is intended to complement the care you already receive from your GP or mental health provider.
With SilverCloud Health’s tailored programs, you can learn techniques to train your mind to overcome the symptoms of low mood, anxiety or depression, improve sleep and help manage stress. As a Swinburne student, you can access the platform for free.
Head to SilverCloud Health's website and enter code SUT-300 when you sign up.
SilverCloud Health also produces a series of podcasts with useful topics, such as achieving balance in your life, digital mental health for young people, men's mental health, money worries and more.
This initiative has been made possible by funding from the Victorian Government through the Study Melbourne International Education Resilience Fund.
University is a place of learning, but while you’re here it’s good to do a little unlearning too.
So what do we mean by unlearning? Well, humans start learning things from the minute they enter this bizarre world and some of those lessons are more helpful than others. The things you learn in school are usually very useful, but it’s the little lessons we pick up just by moving through society that are worth reevaluating. These lessons include things like which people hold power in the world and which people don’t, and what’s normal and right versus what is abnormal and wrong.
By the time we leave school, we pretty much already have a PhD in what society expects of us based on our race, gender, ability and sexuality. If we stop to think about these things, we’ll find that a lot of it is quite harmful, fuels inequality and violence, and is mostly just plain old wrong.
This is where Unlearn It comes in – a series where we look at different learnt attitudes in our society and begin to unpick them to make our world (or at least our campus) more respectful and inclusive.
Unlearning rules about masculinity
What makes a man?
Unlearning attitudes towards gender-based violence
That's just the way things are
Unlearning ideas about gender and relationships
Boy meets girl
Unlearning a system that supports racism
But I'm not racist
Unlearning definitions of disability
You don't look disabled
Put your unlearning into practice by getting to know some Swinburne students and connecting with others to share your experience.
Sexual health and respectful relationships
Your sexual health is just as important as any other aspect of your wellbeing. Especially while you’re here. Because there’s great news: university is often a time for sexual exploration. The not-so-great news: it means students are at a higher risk for things like un-safe sex, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual assault and harassment.
We’d like to make getting frisky a little less risky, so we’ve created these pages to talk about all things sex and sexuality. Learn about the services available if you need support dealing with things like the morning after pill or an STI check. And what you need to know if you’re sexually active (or would like to be). Safe sex. The legality of dick pics. What consent is. What consent isn’t. (Hint: a ‘no’ always means no. No more to it.) We’re putting it all to bed.
Consent Matters: A course to encourage healthy, respectful relationships
Contraception 101: What you need to know
A guide to getting an STI check
How to have conversations about consent; before, during and after sex
The condom broke. Now what?
Understanding sex and sexuality: Your A-Z guide
5 tips for navigating sex and intimacy in a digital world
Party Safe (NEW Government)
Informative website for young people providing lots of information on STIs, safe sex, general FAQs, etc. as well as on online Q&A service. Find out more. Find out more.
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
Provides information on various STIs, and also offers STI testing and sexual health support and services via their clinic in the CBD. Find out more.
Family Planning Victoria
Offers information online, and in-person sexual and reproductive health services including contraception, pregnancy, medication abortion, and reproductive health services (cervical screening, etc.). Find out more.
Cup of tea consent
Great video outlining the principles of consent. Find out more.
Nutrition and healthy living
The vast majority of Australian uni students have an inadequate diet. It’s just too easy today to opt for salty, fatty and sugary foods rather than fruits or vegetables. Consider the 2-minute noodle: beloved dish of students the world over. Delicious, lacking in cost, cooking time and yet also… you guessed it, nutrition. They say you are what you eat, so if your entire diet consists of stuff like quick noodles, you may well be in hot water.
You see, lots of studies show poor nutritional and exercise habits can negatively affect your body and mind. And the latter you really need for university. So we’re here to help. Ever wondered what to cook, how to cook or ‘ugh, do I really have to cook?’. Here, you can find the recipes, tips and guides to help you get healthy, served up on a silver platter.
Feeling a bit more adventurous? Check out our Swinburne student recipe bible, featuring a selection of everyday, affordable meals, prepared by students for students (no fancy blenders required!).
Student recipe bible
A guide to seeing a dietitian
Foods for thought
Ready, set, concentrate: Activities to supercharge your studies and exams
Healthy microwave meals in 30 minutes or less
Australian Guide to Health Eating
Australia’s ‘Food selection guide’ – a visual representation of what you should eat for good health and wellbeing. Find out more.
Nutrition Australia - Healthy Eating Pyramid
Alternative food selection guide in pyramid form! Find out more.
Eat for health - eating well
Australia’s official dietary guidelines. Find out more.
Medibank - meal planning
Blog-style practical information and tips to help you eat well. Find out more.
Medibank - nutrition course online
Free online courses in nutrition.. Find out more.
Alcohol and other drugs
Booze is to Australian culture, what tea is to the British way of life. Popular, offered as a courtesy and regularly used as an emotional crutch. It’s the most widely used recreational drug we have. Australian universities are no exception. Although student consumption is on the decline, they’re still likely to binge like it’s the last season of Stranger Things (and more likely to be harmed by it too).
If you’ve indulged yourself in alcohol or any other recreational drug you’re probably familiar with shorter-term side effects like vomiting, bangin’ headaches and having no idea what happened last night. But the long-term effects are serious and can’t be cured with Panadol and a day in bed. So we’re cracking the lid off what you need to know before your next night out. Here you can explore everything from the basics of drugs and alcohol to the more complicated stuff, like what to do next when having a good time gets out of control.
Understanding alcohol and drugs: Your A-Z guide
Alcohol and you: Where is that next drink taking you?
Drug overdoses happen: Learn the signs, save a life
Alcohol and drug foundation
Comprehensive website focused on providing the facts about alcohol and drugs to the community. Also provides an information hotline, help and support services, and tips to reduce risk. Find out more.
Tools to determine safe alcohol consumption including drink calculator, drink check, how to 'say when' and option to build up your own drinking profile. Find out more.
Provides resources and support services to help people affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Find out more.
Provides information on a range of legal and illegal drugs, including the potential impact and tips to help you stay safe. Find out more.
Four short videos highlighting what happens when you drink alcohol. Find out more.
Cycling is a terrific way to get around Melbourne: riding a bike is great exercise, it’s inexpensive to get started, and it’s a fun way to explore near campus and beyond. Cycling can also be combined with public transport if your destination is further than you can peddle.
As a cyclist, you can reduce your risk of injury if you’re involved in an accident by wearing a helmet (which is compulsory). Dressing in bright colours can increase your visibility – remember that you’ll be sharing the road with other vehicles, including cars, buses and trams, so you must understand and obey the road rules. (Make sure you know what a hook turn is… Even some life-long Melburnians struggle with that one!) You might need some dedicated kit too, like lights, and consider learning some basic bike maintenance to keep you safe and on the move.
Ready to get on your bike? Great! Swinburne’s Croydon and Wantirna campuses have lots of free bike parking. At our Hawthorn campus, you can access secure bike lockers as well as bicycle repair stations with tools to do basic repairs. Stay safe and enjoy the ride!
Tips and resources from Bicycle Network to help you start cycling safely and confidently.
A to Z of road rules
A summary of the key road rules for cyclists from VicRoads.
Information from VicRoads for cyclists about riding safely and responsibly.
Bikes on public transport
Public Transport Victoria's guide to combining bike riding with public transport travel.
Cycling: Health benefits
An introduction to the health benefits of cycling from Better Health Channel.
Australia's largest community of bike riders. Find out more.
A handy booklet that explains road rules for bicycle riders in Victoria. Includes information about how to ride safely and responsibly. Find out more.
Bike skills workshops
Low-cost workshops covering key bike-riding skills and bike maintenance hosted by the City of Boroondara. Find out more.
Melbourne best bike trails
A guide to five of Melbourne's best bike paths from the RACV. Find out more.
For everything else you might need
Better Health Channel
Victorian Government-funded health website with a wealth of credible information and tools for better health! Find out more.
Australian Government-funded health website which also provides a wealth of credible information and tools for better health. Also provides links to other credible sources, and a handy ‘symptom checker’ for when you are feeling unwell. Find out more.
Sleep Health Foundation
A national organisation focused on helping you improve your sleep through education. Find out more.
Provides online information and online, telephone and face-to-face counselling to support people affected by gambling. Find out more.
Want to know more about our health services?
Swinburne has a range of on-campus health and wellbeing services available to students. From doctors and nurses to counselling and physiotherapy, we have a range of services to help you.