Mental Health Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the community.

As an organisation The University of Queensland is committed to looking to create a mentally healthy workplace and seeking out ways to educate our staff and students to understand, acknowledge and reach out to those who may be doing it tough – whether that be in the workplace, at home or in the wider community.


Mental Health Week 2017 Program:


How big a problem is mental health in Australia and what can be done about it?

Professor Harvey Whiteford

Thursday 12 October 12:30-2pm

More than one in five Australians experience a mental illness in their lifetime, but are we facing an epidemic of mental health problems? Prof Harvey Whiteford will examine the evidence in relation to this claim and discuss ways in which we can respond to the burden of mental illness and reduce the impact these disorders have in our society. Professor Whiteford leads a research program in psychiatric epidemiology, burden of disease, mental health policy analysis, and services research at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. He has worked as a consultant to national governments, Commonwealth and State governments in Australia, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.

A light lunch will be served from 12:30-1pm, with the presentation commencing promptly at 1pm.

 To make a booking, click here.

This event will also be available live via videolink at Gatton campus. All staff and students are welcome to attend the session from 1-2pm in Building 8103 (Animal Industries Building), Room 132.



Compassion-based exercises for stress management and mental wellbeing  --  James Kirby

Monday 9 October 12pm

Dealing with stress can be difficult and how we respond to stressful situations or disappointments can make problems even worse. Some people can get caught up in self-critical thinking and others can get caught up in blame and shame cycles. This workshop will look at compassionate-based ways to respond to stress or disappointments.

It will focus on: 

·       what compassion is,

·       how we have ‘tricky brains’ that can get caught up in ‘loops’ that continue high level stress,

·       and provide practical strategies to help settle stress and help with mental wellbeing  

 To make a booking, click here.


Mindfulness-based Pain Management  --  Melissa Day

Tuesday 10 October 1pm

Chronic pain affects millions of Australians each year and is associated with substantial economical and personal costs. Unfortunately, traditional biomedical treatments such as medications and surgery are limited in their efficacy for managing persistent, long-term pain and are often associated with significant negative side effects. Therefore, the current gold standard treatment approach is interdisciplinary in nature. Within this context, mindfulness-based approaches have been shown to hold tremendous potential for improving not only pain symptoms, but also the co-morbid conditions that often arise when living a life with chronic pain such as sleep problems, depression and anxiety, and relationship difficulties.

This session will focus on:

·       discussing the role of mindfulness-based approaches for chronic pain management,

·       describing a selection of evidence-based mindfulness techniques, as well as

·       the most up to date research regarding the efficacy and mechanisms of this approach.

 To make a booking, click here.



Anxiety and depression: the search for better therapeutics  --  Professor Pankaj Sah, Director of QBI

Wednesday 11 October 11am

Venue: Auditorium, Queensland Brain Institute, Building #79, St Lucia Campus 

Anxiety and Depression are two common conditions that are thought to result from disordered function in the neural circuits that affect our emotional lives. While these disorders are clinically well established, their treatment is not simple. Currently they are treated by a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.  The pharmacological treatment of these disorders has largely proceeded by ad hoc discovery, and trial and error.  As a result, many of these treatments are accompanied by a range of side effects.

The development of more effective pharmacological treatment requires an understanding of the biology that underpins these disorders. QBI's research is providing insights into the genetics of some of these disorders and possible targets for therapeutic action.

 To make a booking, click here. 



Compassionate Leadership: How it contributes to healthy and productive workplaces

Jodee Allanson

Wednesday 11 October 12pm

This session will focus on compassion in the workplace, primarily the role compassionate leadership plays in creating a healthy and productive workplace.

The objectives of the session are to:

·       learn what more about compassionate leadership as it applies to work,

·       learn how compassionate leadership contributes to healthy and productive workplaces,

·       learn how compassionate leadership overcomes workplace challenges at the individual, team, and organisational levels,

·       identify practical strategies for cultivating compassionate leadership at work,

·      and participate in a formal guided practice designed to enhance compassionate leadership practices at work.

 To make a booking, click here.



To find out about other Mental Health Week events in Queensland, visit the Qld Mental Health Week website.



If you have any questions, please contact Organisational Development.


UQ Students have access to free confidential counselling through the Counselling Services at Student Services.

Call 3365 1704 to make an appointment.


UQ staff and their family members can also access free confidential counselling with UQ's EAP provider.

Call the EAP on 1300 360 364  to make an appointment.