This policy briefing reveals significant underreporting of mental health issues among VET students, with VET provider data indicating only one per cent of students are experiencing mental illness. With such low rates of disclosure, VET providers are struggling to respond to the needs of students experiencing mental ill-health, particularly when the students’ performance and participation are impacted. Meanwhile, a lack of resources means providers are also finding it difficult to provide effective support for students who do disclose.
The briefing highlights the need for Australian state and territory governments to provide guidance to VET providers and to clearly identify their requirements and obligations in supporting students with mental ill-health, including reducing stigma and increasing help-seeking behaviours. It also encourages public and private VET providers to partner with community service providers to improve the outcomes of young people within the VET sector experiencing mental ill-health.