A five year study on psychological distress within a university counselling population

Kitty Vivekananda, Andrew Telley, Shae Trethowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Outcome data using the OQ-45gathered over a five and half year period from 3682 students attending the Counselling Service, indicates significantly severe levels of psychological distress and symptoms when compared to international norms. Mean first session counselling OQ-45 scores fall close to the level of an outpatient mental health service and are significantly higher than norms for university counseling services. 46.7% of students attending counselling reached scores indicative of severe levels of distress (consistent with inpatient mental health service norms). International students, Non-English Speaking Background students and students with a disability are identified as at-risk cohorts on a number of analyses undertaken, including suicide risk. Males, students with a disability and domestic students present with higher risk for alcohol and drug misuse. Psychological distress is associated with significant impact on students' academic functioning and productivity. Implications for managing risk and broader university interventions will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-57
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

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