Universities are important organizations in what concerns the creation and improvement of health and wellbeing, thus healthy universities represent a key application of the health-promoting settings approach. The healthy Universities concept has a strong theoretical basis, and it appears appealing amongst universities worldwide. However, the way in which the approach has been implemented remains poorly grounded in theory. This systematic review aims to describe how universities have implemented the Healthy Universities concept in different cultures. In order to achieve this aim, we analyzed the following aspects of the implementation of the Health Promoting University: (a) definition of Healthy University; (b) priority areas of action; (c) subject matters; (d) projects and coordination; and (e) project evaluation and possible results.
Mental health in the tertiary student population can have a major influence on academic achievement. While studies have been conducted to identify the factors associated with students’ mental health, there is a gap in the available literature regarding tertiary students in New Zealand. The present survey, Kei Te Pai?, aims to fill this gap and was conducted by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) on tertiary students across Aotearoa to form an overview the state of tertiary students’ mental health in New Zealand.
Read more here.
The International Journal for Equity in Health published a paper in 2009 with the following abstract:
"In this paper we argue the importance of including gender and sexually diverse populations in policy development towards a more inclusive form of health promotion. We emphasize the need to address the broad health and wellbeing issues and needs of LGBT people, rather than exclusively using an illness-based focus such as HIV/AIDS. We critically examine the limitations of population health, the social determinants of health (SDOH), and public health goals, in light of the lack of recognition of gender and sexually diverse individuals and communities. By first acknowledging the unique health and social care needs of LGBT people, then employing anti-oppressive, critical and intersectional analyses we offer recommendations for how to make population health perspectives, public health goals, and the design of public health promotion policy more inclusive of gender and sexual diversity. In health promotion research and practice, representation matters. It matters which populations are being targeted for health promotion interventions and for what purposes, and it matters which populations are being overlooked. In Canada, current health promotion policy is informed by population health and social determinants of health (SDOH) perspectives, as demonstrated by Public Health Goals for Canada. With Canada's multicultural makeup comes the challenge of ensuring that diverse populations are equitably and effectively recognized in public health and health promotion policy."
Read more here.
"Transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) individuals often are the target of enacted or external (i.e., distal) experiences of stigma, discrimination, and violence, which are linked to adverse health, particularly psychological distress. There is limited research, however, examining felt or internal (i.e., proximal) stressors faced by TGNC individuals. This study sought to examine one type of internal stressor, expecting rejection, and aimed to (1) identify how and to what extent rejection expectations operate day-to-day for TGNC individuals and (2) ex-
plore how TGNC individuals respond to expectations of rejection.
Read more of this journal article here.
During the 2017 South Island Tertiary Forum, three documents were developed in response to Rainbow Wellbeing issues on tertiary campuses.
Links to the three resources are below:
- Campus Recommendations to support LGBTIQ+ students and staff
- LGBTIQ+ Recommendations based on the Okanagan Charter
- Queer Support on Campus Resource list
Feel free to share these resources in your own organisations.
This is a link to a friendly and simple guide to gender and sexuality terms and identities in our diverse world, developed by Rainbow Youth.
View it here.
The following is a link to a resource from the 'Are You Ok?' website about healthy LGBTI relationships, including where to go for help if things get tough. Click here for more information.
If you would like to order resources for your tertiary institution, Community and Public Health is a great place to start. They offer pamphlets on youth support, specialised help lines, Christchurch-specific support and Takatāpui wellbeing. A link to order these is available here.
Inside Out is a collection of free videos designed to help reduce gender- and sexual-identity based bullying. They are New Zealand based, and include resources tailored to years 7-8 and 9-13.
Click here to view Episode One: Gender, Sex and Sexuality.
This article from the Lancet details evidence linking the consumption of alcoholic beverages to several cancers. Given the binge drinking culture that is prevalent in New Zealand universities, this information worth our consideration.
Link to the article is available here.
The Okanagan Charter is a document that was published in 2015. It was produced in collaboration of many universities who convened in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada for the International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges to discuss what makes a health promoting university. This is the result. In Aotearoa, we have used this charter as a base for our own interpretation of what it means to be a health promoting university.
The Charter can be viewed here.
"Mental health difficulties can beset anyone at any time, although it is recognised that many of the transition points in life can be particularly challenging. For some students an unfamiliar higher education environment can be very stressful, particularly for those who already have an underlying illness. Higher education institutions therefore take student mental health seriously ... Universities UK commissioned the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group to update the existing guidance, drawing on evidence and practice from within the higher education sector and reports from government and the health and voluntary sectors. This guidance has been written for senior leaders and managers, and aims to support institutions in their promotion of mental wellbeing and in the support they provide for students experiencing mental health difficulties."
To read more, see the full guide here.
This website describes a Universities UK campaign to encourage universities to "work in close partnership with parents, schools and employers to prepare students for transitions and with the NHS to coordinate care for students."
It also holds that "universities should adopt mental health as a strategic priority, implementing a whole university approach, with students and staff involved at all stages of the journey."
For more information, see the link here.
Levels of mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing among students in higher education in the UK are increasing, and are high relative to other sections of the population ... The higher education sector and government both have an interest in helping to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students. Universities should make the issue a strategic priority and adopt a ‘whole-university’ approach based on prevention and promotion, early intervention and low-level support, responding to risk and crisis management, and referral into specialist care. There is currently too much variation in the extent to which universities are equipped to meet this challenge. This sector-led approach should be complemented by strengthened NHS provision and new government initiatives to ensure that no student is held back by their mental health.
This report by Thursdays in Black is an investigation into student experiences of sexual violence prior to and during tertiary education in New Zealand. It includes statistics regarding the prevalence of sexual assault, an examination of the flaws in the current sexuality education at secondary school and tertiary level (particularly surrounding consent), and several urgent calls to action.
This academic paper was written by two of our executive members, Craig Waterworth and Anna Thorpe. Published in 2017, it can be viewed in the Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association. It outlines how the Okanagan Charter could be implemented in the New Zealand context. Abstract is below.
Abstract: In 2015 the International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges was held in the Okanagan, Canada. At this conference, a new international charter focusing on health promotion in tertiary education was ratified. The Okanagan Charter was developed with input from 45 countries,including Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. The Okanagan Charter builds on existing charters and declarations to apply health, wellbeing and sustainability to tertiary settings. This paper outlines how the Okanagan Charter relates to health promotion approaches that are used in Aotearoa New Zealand in higher (tertiary) education for the benefit of students, staff and stakeholders. The principles and action areas of the Okanagan Charter are discussed in their application to health promotion practice in the higher education setting of Aotearoa New Zealand.
This document is an adapted version of the National Healthy Food and Drink Policy. Instead of being targeted at the District Health Boards, this policy is targeted at any organisation that wishes to get support in the promotion and delivery of healthy food and drink. As such, it is a useful resource for tertiary institutions to access. To view this document, click here.
The following resource was created by the National District Health Board Food and Drink Environments Network to guide New Zealand District Health Boards and the Ministry of Health in the promotion of healthier food and drink choices. This policy is still highly informative for use in tertiary settings. For the full resource, see the link here.
A report by the World Government Summit, in collaboration with the International Positive Education Network. "Positive education views school as a place where students not only cultivate their intellectual minds, but also develop a broad set of character strengths, virtues, and competencies, which together support their well-being [...] This report is broken into five sections: one leader’s perspective and introduction to positive education and its history; case studies from primary, secondary, and tertiary schools around the world that are actively implementing positive education; and policy perspectives on positive education."
The report can be found here.
This policy brief covers the case for regulation of alcohol marketing on social media sites. This is a highly relevant issue for student drinking.
"The pervasiveness of alcohol-related content and alcohol marketing on social media sites works to normalise alcohol consumption, including excessive drinking [...] We summarise the evidence supporting the need for an urgent review of alcohol marketing via social media – a challenge that can no longer be ignored if New Zealand is to make a serious commitment to reduce the harm caused by alcohol to our young people and communities."
The full report is available here.