The Study Melbourne Inclusion Program is proud to support Elvis Martin - an international student mental health peer worker, using his lived experience to help other international students living in Melbourne.
His role is part of a pilot project led by youth mental health organisation Orygen in partnership with higher education provider Melbourne Polytechnic. A second higher education provider, RMIT is also participating in the project.
Since November, Mr Martin has raised awareness of mental health within the international student community at Melbourne Polytechnic, and helped students connect with support when they need it.
He said often there is a stigma around mental health for international students.
“I really want to educate and raise awareness about mental health so I can break down the shame around this issue and help international students understand what support services exist.”
Orygen’s associate director, employment and education partnerships, Gina Chinnery, said the goal of the project was to reach up to 100 international students experiencing mental health challenges.
“We know many international students seek support from their peers over traditional mental health support services, which is why this service is so important,” Ms Chinnery said.
Orygen is providing mental health peer work implementation support, workforce training and ongoing peer work supervision for the duration of the project.