Orygen, VTAC investigate mental health - Education Matters Magazine
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Orygen, VTAC investigate mental health

Orygen and VTAC investigate mental health

Youth mental health research centre Orygen is partnering with the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) to investigate mental health in young people.

Orygen researchers will use data from VTAC to investigate this as well as mental health’s impacts of young people’s course selections and admissions.

The project, known as the Education Transition Project, aims to pave the way for mentally ill youth to receive tailored support when transition to further education or training.

The past three years of VTAC data will be shared anonymously with Orygen.

The project’s researchers will look at topics such as the effect of COVID-19 on the mental health of Victorian school leavers applying for higher education or university.

Tertiary organisations will benefit from the project’s findings as they will shed light on the mental health needs of organisations’ incoming student bodies.

It will also inform tertiary organisations’ designs and developments of future programs and support for young people.

Orygen director of research Professor Eóin Killackey said the project would highlight the critical transition point in young people’s lives for the first time.

“Understanding the impact of mental ill-health on young people as they navigate the transition to further education and training is the first step in developing supports,” Killackey said.

“[The research helps] to ensure they have the same opportunity as their peers to pursue their educational and vocational goals.”

VTAC Acting Director Tamara Barth said there the project has significant potential for young people.

“VTAC is delighted to be involved in this important research,” Barth said.

“Our wealth of data will be put to valuable use if it results in improving the experience and health of young people as they move through their educational journey.”

VTAC calculates ATARs and processes course applications.

The centre also handles special consideration claims for when students’ education is affected by factors outside of their control, such as illness, financial difficulty, bereavement or trauma.

For more information visit Orygen’s website.