Mental health and international students: issues, challenges and effective practice

The mental health of Australian university students is generally shown to be in decline (Weir & Lee, 2016). It is an issue of concern that is attracting attention in host countries where international students relocate to undertake their studies.

It is generally believed that mental health issues are increasing in occurrence and severity. This overview of the literature brings together the major studies that have focused on international student mental health over the past 20 years.

It seems the focus has shifted from general health concerns to problems associated with mental health. The literature pertaining to international students demonstrates that mental health is connected with many aspects of international student lives, not only because they are often at an age when mental health issues may arise, but also because of their new social environment. More recent literature is emerging from other contexts which throw new light on the topic and contribute to notions of preventions and interventions.


Dr Helen Forbes-Mewett, Monash University

Published: July 2019