ANU Law students share tips for de-stressing on World Mental Health Day 2019

Jon, Marco, Felicity
ANU College of Law students (l to r) Jon, Marco and Felicity share their strategies for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Photo: Tom Fearon/ANU

Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day, which aims to highlight global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. This year’s theme, 'Do You See What I See?', encourages people to see beyond the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and make mental health more visible.

It’s no secret that law school challenges even the most mentally resilient students. Voluminous readings and high-stakes exams can lead many to feel overwhelmed. Indeed, a 2018 study by the University of Western Australia found high levels of psychological distress and risk of depression in both law students and practicing lawyers when compared with other industry professionals.

So, what are your strategies for unwinding and maintaining good mental health?

We asked ANU Law students to share their secrets for de-stressing and self-care.


Bachelor of International Relations/Law (Hons)

“I really love spending time outdoors and taking time to be mindful of my surroundings. I also think about what I’m grateful for, which really helps. It gives me a lot of perspective. I enjoy bushwalking around Tidbinbilla and spend time in nature.”


Bachelor of Development Studies/Law (Hons)

“You have to know your limits and when to call it a night and say, ‘I’ve done enough today’. You have to be a bit forgiving of yourself, because there is always pressure as a university student to do more. You can ‘do more’ for your exams, but sometimes you need to go to bed, go for a run, or have time for Netflix.”


Bachelor of International Relations/Law (Hons)

“I try and spend a full afternoon each week rock climbing in the bush. I also don’t think it’s particularly wise to put all your eggs in one basket by associating your identity solely with achievement at university or in your career. I make sure to have goals and interests which aren’t directly linked to these things.”

Finally, always remember help is at hand. Here are some useful resources:

  • ANU Counselling: Your on-campus support service connecting students with our team of caring clinical psychologists. They also have extensive wellbeing resources online, with a broad range of self-help strategies.
  • 10 tips for managing anxiety: Compiled by ANU Counselling, this list offers useful strategies for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
  • Survive Law: An online community that provides law students with information, tips, and articles that discuss topics such as law school, career advice and mental health.
  • Law Lifeline: A US online project with articles, testimonials and other resources relevant to law students about coping with mental health issues.
  • Beyond Blue: An organisation that provides information, and support for, depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention.
  • Headspace: The national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians (12 – 25 years).

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team