Teaching Matters

Poster 10

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Mental health and medical students: An impact evaluation study


Mike Hornblow, School of Architecture and Design
Jacqueline Power, School of Architecture and Design
Diyannah Syafiqah Binte Mohd Sham, School of Architecture and Design
Eng Yip, School of Architecture and Design
Sonja Hindrum, School of Architecture and Design


Excellent teaching produces excellent students

Presentation Type



Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre Foyer




Excellent medical education develops students that are both academically brilliant, and capable of withstanding the emotional rigors of the medical field. Australian medical students experience a considerable mental health burden, with 18% experiencing suicidal ideation in the last year (Wu, et al., 2013). This burden is attributed to stigmas associated with accessing mental health supports, and poor self-care strategies (Wu, et al., 2013; Monestar & Wahid, 2013). Yet only nine of the 20 Australian medical schools have invested in evidenced-based initiatives to promote mental health. This study examines the efficacy of a workshop targeting mental health skills in medical students at the Launceston Clinical School (LCS).

A peer-run workshop was developed in collaboration with a local mental health organisation, The Little HELP Project Tasmania. Fourth year medical students at the LCS (n=19, aged 21-24) voluntarily participated in the workshop. The efficacy of the workshop was determined via answers to surveys before the workshop and at the completion of the workshop.

Overall, the survey answers indicated that students gained an improved understanding of how to maintain their mental health, were more likely to access health care services such as General Practitioners when required and were more confident in supporting peers in crisis after the workshop.

Excellent medical students require support in all areas of medical practice. This study demonstrates the capacity of a peer-run workshop as an opportunity to improve mental health skills in medical students. We encourage the roll out of this workshop to all years of the School of Medicine, to aid in producing excellent medical students.


Wu, F., Ireland, M., Hafekost K. and Lawrence, D. (2013). National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students [Internet]. Melbourne: BeyondBlue;.

Monestar, J., Wahid, Z.T. (2013). Student Based Mental Health Interventions: Australian Medical Schools [Internet]. Barton: Australian Medical Students Association.

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