University of Western Australia: Student-focused health and wellbeing hub recognised by State Government

Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson has formally recognised Lotterywest’s contribution to the Living Room, a unique student health and wellbeing initiative at The University of Western Australia, with the presentation of a special certificate.

Since it was launched in October last year, the Living Room has played a crucial role at UWA in providing a welcoming, inclusive and student-focused space that promotes well-being through early intervention, peer support and low barrier access to UWA Health services.

The project was developed in partnership with the UWA Young Lives Matter (YLM) Foundation to provide students with access to mental health support and connection to appropriate services and activities on campus or in the community.

The concept came from Young Lives Matter (YLM) Foundation Chairman, Mr Ronald W Woss AM, who has demonstrated a passion to helping young people experiencing mental health challenges. Lotterywest provided a $169,945 grant towards the project from its COVID-19 relief fund.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Amit Chakma said that partners such as Lotterywest, the Young Lives Matter Foundation and other generous donors had helped make possible a commitment to improving student experience and resilience on campus.

“The Covid-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the well-being of our students. Lotterywest’s support of the peer support program will ensure that students can speak to their peers in a safe environment, with clinical support where that is needed,” Professor Chakma said.

“Our students have the opportunity and the encouragement to support each other and learn from each other.”

Believed to be the first initiative of its kind on a university campus in Australia, the Living Room has become a hub for student-focused health with wellbeing initiatives including mindfulness meditation sessions and yoga classes, as well as weekly visits from therapy and companion dogs.

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