Sophie O'Keefe, English Australia
Some light on a dark topic – International student mental health

Providing support to students with mental health difficulties is complex and many ELICOS colleges report a higher incidence of student mental health issues in the past two years. In 2017, English Australia conducted a comprehensive survey of 94 ELICOS institutions, which focused on policies and practices in student mental health. This interactive session will explore the results of that survey focusing on 2 main areas: challenges and effective practices in assisting students with mental health difficulties.

The presenter will also outline the importance of the role that classroom teachers can play in identifying students who may be experiencing mental health issues and connecting them to counselling staff within their institutions.

Sophie O’Keefe is the Professional Development Manager at English Australia. Previously, she held Course Coordinator and Senior Teacher roles, where she developed a keen interest in staff professional development and growth and she firmly believes in the potential of professional learning to keep that teaching spark alive.

Over the past year, Sophie has been involved in the research and writing of English Australia’s soon-to-be-released ‘Guide to Best Practice in International Student Mental Health.’ Throughout this process, she has been privileged to speak to ELICOS student counsellors around Australia and is keen to set the topic of mental health as a priority on the ELICOS sector agenda.