• 4 October 2021, 9:00am to 21 October 2021, 1:00pm
Various locations – mostly online
Free

Mental Health Month highlights how people can maintain good mental health and access resources that help to explore different aspects of your physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and changed the way we work and study, and has impacted many areas of our life.

Isolation from friends, a change of routine, and financial stress are just a few of the ways many of us have been affected.

While it can be normal to sometimes feel lonely, anxious, unmotivated and stressed during this time, it is important to know that these feelings can impact us and we need to make sure that we are looking after ourselves and our mental and physical health.

Below are resources and sessions that can help everyone navigate ways to implement some self-care into their routine.

If you are finding it difficult to cope, or are unsure about things and would like to talk to someone in confidence, please contact VU Counselling Services.

Activities & resources for Mental Health Week at VU

When: Monday 4 October – Friday 15 October

Hosted by: VU Sport

Running is a great way to get fit and de-stress so join VU Sport's Virtual Running Festival.

The Festival will aim to replicate a typical fun run – with the added convenience of being available anywhere, anytime.

It will run between Monday 4 October to Friday 15 October, and participants can choose from the following distances:

  • 3 km run/walk
  • 5 km run
  • 10 km run or
  • half marathon (21.1km)

​There will be a leader board for each distance, and participants can complete multiple distances throughout the Festival.

Any tracking app can be used — Strava and Nike Run Club are two of our favourites.

To join the leader board, participants simply send a screenshot of their run/walk to the Team VU Facebook Group or email us at [email protected].

Visit the Virtual Running Festival event page for more information.

Sign up now

When: Friday 8 October, 4pm-5.30pm AEDT

Hosted by: VU Student Union (VUSU)

We all know you aren’t travelling as much as you want to be due to the current restrictions. So…can we bring a vacation to you?

Join VUSU for a virtual vacation to the tropical islands where your energetic, quirky guide will get your team laughing and connecting, and working through fun challenges to problem solve, and get to know one another better.

This online team activity involves fun icebreakers, get-to-know-you games, and collaborative challenges and activities that foster trust, teamwork, self-expression, and a bunch of laughs.

We’ve designed this to be the perfect mix of activities to engage your whole team, from the typically introverted engineers to your most outgoing sales types.

Register for Virtual Vacation

When: Wednesday 13 October, 12pm-1pm AEDT

Hosted by: VU Counselling

This workshop is a spoken word/poetry workshop exploring the theme of mental health week through art, rhyme and poetry.

All levels are welcome, just bring your interest in words to express yourself, your wellbeing and your resilient spirit.

Register for the workshop

When: Wednesday 13 October, 5pm-6.30pm AEDT

Hosted by: Student Life & Leadership

Get a free pottery clay kit and join us as we have fun and create our very own planter/vases together over Zoom!

You will receive a kit that includes all the materials that you need to make your very own pottery!

Crockd pottery kits are 100% beginner-friendly - no skills, and no kiln required.

We'll teach you how to create a pinch-pot, and carve your clay into functional beautiful keepsakes.

You'll get:

  • clay - enough to last the entire 90 minute workshop
  • sculpting tools
  • instruction and inspiration booklet
  • Clay Breakers (conversation cards).

*This session has booked out. Find more upcoming online activities on the Student Life Facebook page. Upcoming activities include an online escape room, donut baking and decorating and a calligraphy workshop. 

See upcoming activities

When: Thursday 14 October, 12pm-1pm AEDT

Hosted by: VU Counselling

VU Counsellor Adriana McMahon will discuss ways to respond creatively and with confidence to emotional challenges with the aim to enhance wellbeing, reduce anxious thoughts, and unhelpful speech and behaviour.

Register for the workshop

When: Friday 15 October, 12pm-1pm AEDT

Hosted by: VU Counselling

VU Counsellor Freda Dimitrakakis will deliver a workshop with students exploring how we can stay positive and develop optimism as a way of coping with challenging times.

This session is offered to students as part of Mental Health Month during the month of October.

Register for the workshop

When: Tuesday 19 October, 5.30pm-6.30pm AEDT

Hosted by: Student Life & Leadership

*must be a current VU Student to participate

Join our Timeline themed Escape Room to compete for a $50 Gift card!

In the not-too-distant future, the world is in chaos. Alongside other VU students you will activate the time machine and go back to the 80’s and save the future!

Difficulty level: 3/5

You'll be briefed on your mission and navigation prior to being given a password to enter your escape room online.

The team will interact with each other, using teamwork, investigative skills and awesomeness to solve the puzzles and challenges.

Your Adventure Master will be on hand to assist where required.

Each member of the winning team will receive a $50 Digital Gift Voucher.

Join Online Escape Room

When: Thursday 21 October 12pm-1pm AEDT

Hosted by: VU Counselling

This Student-led panel will discuss how the stigma and shame of mental ill health impacts diverse communities across VU.

The panel will also discuss what we can do in our communities to reduce the shame of mental ill health and promote help seeking and a mentally healthy environment.

Register for the panel

When: Watch on demand video

Hosted by: VU Counselling

Progressive muscle relaxation is a method that helps relieve tension.

In progressive muscle relaxation, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out.

You work on your muscle groups in a certain order. When your body is physically relaxed, you may feel less anxious.

Watch the relaxation exercise

When: Watch on demand video

Hosted by: VU Counselling

Please come on a short walk with Counsellor Julie Burn and experience how nature can impact your wellbeing.

This video will be available from Monday 11 October.

Watch a mindful walk

The Mindful Journal includes fantastic resources with pages to help you:

  • reflect
  • set goals
  • record your dreams
  • find help services and counselling at VU
  • ask R U OK?

Download your very own Mindful Journal to get started.

When: On demand video series

Hosted by: VU Counselling

Watch a series of workshops facilitated by the VU Counselling team where you will hear about how to understand yourself better, manage thoughts, cope with emotions, and build resilience.

Self-care

Learn practical strategies on how to look after yourself during stressful times and develop healthy life skills. Guest speaker Tiff Hall (Chaplain) joins the session to discuss spiritual self-care and resources within your spirituality.

Download the self-care resource.

Watch the self-care session

Managing my Moods

Understanding thoughts, feelings and behaviours - an introduction to understanding why you think, feel, and behave the way you do.

Download the managing my moods resource.

Watch managing my moods

Understanding Emotions

Learn skills and strategies to cope with challenging emotions in an effective way.

Download the understanding emotions resource.

Watch Understanding Emotions

Sleep Well

Learn about the importance of sleep, how to build a healthy sleep schedule, and tips for improving your sleep patterns.

Download the sleep well resource.

Watch Sleep Well

If you’re feeling stressed and need support, please call VU Counselling on +61 3 9919 5400.

Hosted by: VU Sport

Don’t wait for lockdown to be over before getting active, VU Sport has an online membership to keep you moving and motivated.

We offer live-at-home sessions led by qualified instructors.

Among our sessions are the award-winning Virtual Team Training, Group Exercise Online, and the brand-new Virtual Master Movers.

The weekly membership fee is only $6.

Limited special offer - Sign up and receive 50% off your next month.

More information and a timetable is available in the online memberships area, or email [email protected].

Our Health Advisor provides advice, information and referrals about general health and wellbeing, women's and men's health, chronic illness, family planning and sexual health, injury assistance and any other health matters.

Contact our Health Advisor by emailing [email protected].

When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11am-11.15am and 4pm-4.15pm AEDT

Hosted by: VU Elevenses

Join us for the VU Elevenses program to work on our wellbeing together.

The program provides meaningful ways to help feel supported and connected, and validate the extraordinary challenges brought on by the pandemic.

These brief online sessions are led by experienced clinicians and mental health researchers.

Each session includes activities such as breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, physical activity tips to promote physical and mental wellbeing, quizzes and sing-alongs.

Sessions are held at 11am and repeated at 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The next series of sessions runs over 4 weeks, commencing Monday 4 October and is titled: Bring it Back – Restoring and healing for wellbeing.

This series will be visiting topics and activities that focus on bringing us back to places of connectedness, joy and routines that support our wellbeing.

You are welcome to join as many or as few sessions as you feel like or can fit into your schedule.

How to register

We ask that you email the VU Elevenses team (using your VU email) [email protected] to register your interest to receive the Zoom link invitations for this series of sessions.

Please let us know if you would prefer calendar invitations to the 11am or 4pm sessions (or both).

VU staff are invited to join our Disability Employee Network (requires staff login).

See all events