Students benefit from innovative partnership during COVID-19

Madeline Neeson
By Madeline Neeson
Psychology Clinic

The Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) and SAE Creative Media Institute (SAE) are working together to support the mental health and well-being of students during COVID-19.

Through their established arrangement, ACAP student placement counsellors provide counselling and wellbeing services to the students at SAE Australia. Under the supervision of counsellors, and national manager of the program Sarah Forman, SAE students at all six campuses have access to these services, dealing with a range of issues, including stress and mental health issues as the result of COVID-19.

The program delivers beneficial outcomes to SAE students by providing on-demand, accessible and appropriate counselling while enabling final year ACAP students to complete their work placement within a dynamic, real-world environment.

Adapting to a remote practice delivery model

While the successful face to face, on-campus program has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarah says the service was able to adapt quickly to a remote practice delivery model.

“The counselling service continues to operate at full capacity – with ACAP students completing placement successfully and new placement students continuing to commence,” Sarah said.

The in-demand program is continuing to offer support to all SAE students through remote delivery,  which has experienced a 25% increase in demand for services during the COVID-19 crisis, a reflection of how challenging this turbulent time has been for students.

In order to transition the service successfully, all student counsellors received zoom and online counselling training, increasing and improving their skills in the process. Some SAE students are even reporting that they prefer the online mode of delivery.

“I feel really proud to be leading such a dedicated team. A team who have continued to provide high levels of service within a challenging field, whilst simultaneously dealing with the impact of the pandemic on their own lives. It is powerful to witness students supporting students for the betterment of their studies and mental health. We need to see more programs like this within the higher education sector,” Sarah said.

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