University Health Promotion Program

Healthier students, healthier communities


Juggling study, work and a social life can be both fun and challenging when you're at university. Looking after your physical, mental, social, and sexual wellbeing is important. Watch the video below for some advice from current students here at the University of Melbourne.

About the Health Promotion Program

The University of Melbourne Health Promotion Program is here to improve and support students' health and wellbeing. We do this by leading evidence-based campaigns and activities on campus, and helping students to be aware of the wellbeing support and services available at the University.

Why is health and wellbeing important?

There are many reasons for taking care of your health and wellbeing. Here's some of what we know:

  • 64.2% of university students described academic experiences as ‘very’ or ‘extremely stressful’ (National Tertiary Student Wellbeing Survey 2016)
  • 80% of both local and international students report feeling at least a little concerned about their current mental or emotional state (Towards a Health Promoting University, 2020)
  • 75% of chlamydia rates are among people aged 15-29 years (Kirby Institute, 2018)
  • 1 in 7 university students experience food insecurity, and 1 in 4 Indigenous university students experience hunger (Universities Australia, 2018)

Wellbeing is about maintaining a positive state of mind and attitude towards yourself, relationships and experiences at and beyond university. It’s about looking after important aspects of your life that help you to live, feel, and study well - including healthy eating, mental health, and sexual health. Studies have shown that positive student wellbeing has been linked with improved academic performance and outcomes (Ansari & Stock, 2010).

The team

We're a team of students and staff who work towards greater health and wellbeing across the student community at the University of Melbourne.

  • Peer Health Advocates are student volunteers who design campaigns and deliver programs around campus.
  • Project Assistants work behind the scenes to design programs and help evaluate the Health Promotion Program each year.

Peer Health Advocates and Project Assistants are recruited annually at the start of each calendar year. Applications for 2022 PHAs are now closed, please keep an eye out for further volunteering opportunities. To get in contact please e-mail us at health-promotion@unimelb.edu.au

Peer Health Advocates (PHAs)

  • About the role

    The Peer Health Advocates (PHAs) are a group of students from a variety of faculties who share a passion for health and wellness.

    The PHAs aim to:

    • Promote healthy, active lifestyles in a positive, fun and engaging way
    • Raise awareness about the UoM health and wellbeing services
    • Plan health and wellbeing events and projects
    • Attend training, such as Mental Health First Aid
    • Learn about the latest health information, initiatives and services.

    You'll catch the PHAs at a range of events and campaigns such as O-Week, R U OK Day, Mental Health Week, SWOTVAC Wellbeing and many more!

  • Meet some PHAs!

    Tanvi, Master of Public Health

    Why did you become a Peer Health Advocate?

    I am very passionate about having a health-conscious environment around me, therefore I wanted to be a peer health advocate to promote the importance of having a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

    Photo of Tanvi, a Master of Public health student

    Nick, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)

    What is the best thing about being a Peer Health Advocate?

    Engaging students! It is wonderful to witness increasing health awareness around the campus – to see people talking and thinking about our lifestyle and forming solutions to tackle obstacles at university.

    Photo of Nick, a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Psychology student

    Bridget, Master of Public Health

    What is your top health/wellbeing tip for students?

    Plan breaks and time for self-care while studying. Having time to process information is just as important as the actual learning.

    Photo of Bridget, a Master of Public health student

What's on

Check out some of the latest initiatives and events below to see how you can get involved.

  • Healthy food tours

    UoM Health Promotion hosts Healthy Food Tours at the famous Queen Victoria Market and local supermarkets. Students are guided by a registered Bupa Dietician who explores the basics of eating healthy and sustainable food, and provides practical advice for buying, preparing and cooking healthy food.

    2021 tours dates will be available soon.

    Note: registrations open one week prior to each tour.

    "I had not been before [Queen VIC Market] so now I feel more confident in going there to shop for fruits and veggies on my own." – Student participant

    “[I learnt] more about healthy eating and eliminating some misconceptions that I had.” – Student participant

  • Healthy eating seminars

    Do you want to learn more about healthy eating? Are you confused with all the misleading healthy eating information out there?

    Register today to learn how you can eat nutritious and tasty food from a Dietician. Morning tea provided. Bookings essential.

    2021 seminar dates will be available soon.

    Note: registrations open one week prior to each tour.

    “Very good session, the teacher was helpful and patient.” – Student participant

  • Cooking demonstrations

    Do you want to learn how to cook easy, healthy and tasty food and meet new people?

    Come along to a cooking demonstration by a Dietician and be inspired! Light lunch is provided. Bookings essential.

    2021 demonstration dates will be available soon.

    Note: registrations open one week prior to each tour.

  • Safer Sex Practices Program

    A free contraceptive distribution program to help you practice safer sex. Order safer sex products (male condoms, female condoms, lubricant and dental dams) through an online form and discretely get them delivered to you.

    Find out more and place your order

  • Managing mental health

    Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is essential to being your best at The University of Melbourne. Life at university can be exciting and interesting, it may bring challenges as well, such as adjusting to a new environment and the general stress of student life.

    Listen to some of our students about how they manage their mental health and wellbeing whilst studying.

    Find out more about the services and information available at the University of Melbourne Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS).

  • Healthy eating on campus

    The University of Melbourne is improving the healthy food and beverage options on campus. You may have noticed healthier products in the vending machines and a traffic light labeling system to help make the healthiest choice the easiest choice.

    These changes are part of the Victorian Government Healthy Choices Guidelines.

  • Wellbeing during exams

    The exam period can be a stressful time for students. Sometimes self-care habits such as regular exercise and healthy eating are forgotten, or not prioritised. The UoM Health Promotion Program hosts library wellbeing pop-ups during SWOTVAC. Follow the Stop 1 Facebook page for details closer to the campaign.

    In the meantime, find out more about managing your stress at exam time (PDF 679.8 KB).

  • Smoke-free campus

    The University of Melbourne is a completely smoke-free and tobacco-free campus.

    For more information, see the Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Campuses Policy.

  • Dental Health

    Practising good oral health, regular dental check-ups and the proper treatment of any dental issues helps to prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Look after your teeth and they'll look after you!

    For this years' Dental Health Week, the Health Promotion Program and HENS brings you our own Dental Health Workshop. Whether you want to learn more about how to take good care of your teeth, or what studying dentistry at unimelb is like, or to just secure some dental freebies, definitely come a long!! Guaranteed bright smiles all around

    Date: Monday 1 August
    Time: 11am-12:00pm
    Where: Arts West North Wing-356
    Register now!

    UoM students can access affordable dental care at the Melbourne Dental Clinic. The ‘one-stop-shop’ offers all the dental specialties in the one place with access to state of the art equipment.

    Book now

Health and wellbeing services on campus

If you have any feedback or ideas for the Health Promotion team, we would really appreciate you completing this short survey.