As one of the successful recipients of the Study NSW Partner Projects 2021/22 grant, ISANA is collaborating with SIC to design a Lived Experience Toolkit for international students to address the gap of institutions and services in effectively engaging and communicating with international students regarding their mental health and wellbeing.

“It will be a valuable asset available for use by all NSW education providers”

SIC has a strong record in delivering powerful storytelling projects for international students, the partners noted.

Content for the toolkit will be developed through a story-telling process, constructed into seven chapters, and will highlight key issues and themes identified by students and key partners.

The international education body is also organising an industry collaboration session with project leads, later in October to create a Project Steering Committee.

“ISANA believes the creation of a resource that inspires conversation and de-stigmatises mental health within the international student community will be a valuable asset available for use by all NSW education providers,” Annette Kalczynska, ISANA’s ACT and NSW branch president told The PIE.

“We will bring our unique practice that creatively engages international students through powerful storytelling, which in turn will inspire connection and understanding with audiences.

“The resource will address key issues impacting international students and the stories told will underpin the development of a digital orientation toolkit.”

International students will see themselves, the issues, and their capacity for resilience reflected in the authentic stories captured in each chapter of the toolkit.

The toolkit’s digital solution seeks to dynamically engage students and enable teachers and student services professionals to talk about mental health with students, compared to dry information which frequently fails to engage around important issues

It will also build awareness and capacity for conversations around presented issues, as well as provide clear links to NSW services through the accompanying guide.

Project leaders also hope it will enhance the competitiveness of NSW as a study destination by providing best practices in student support. Providing the orientation toolkit and training to support staff and mental health services at education providers will assist in ensuring that international students have improved access to information regarding mental health.

Participation is free of charge to international education providers across NSW.

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