Mental Health, Access, and Equity in Higher Education


  • Jennifer Martin RMIT UNiversity
  • Fiona Oswin Univerty of Malaysia - Sarawak



Access and equity, stigma, mental health and wellbeing, education


This paper tackles the difficult and often not openly discussed This paper tackles the difficult and often not openly discussed topic of access and equity in higher education for people with mental health difficulties. Recent legislative and policy developments in mental health, disability, anti-discrimination and education mean that all students who disclose a mental health condition can expect fair and equitable treatment. However the findings of an exploratory study at an Australian university reveal that just under two thirds of the 54 students who reported mental health difficulties did not disclose this to staff due to fears of discrimination at university and in future employment. Students who did disclose felt supported when staff displayed a respectful attitude and provided appropriate advice and useful strategies for them to remain engaged in university studies when experiencing mental health difficulties.

Author Biography

Jennifer Martin, RMIT UNiversity

Jennifer Martin is Associate Professor of Social Work at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia