Geo-political conflict and world issues: support for students

Current geo-political conflicts and worldwide events, as well as the impact of natural disasters, can take a toll on our mental wellbeing. Whether the effects are direct or indirect, war, civil oppression, loss of life, human rights violations, displacement, segregation, persecution and natural disasters overseas can have an impact on the wider student community.

If you’re impacted by current geo-political conflicts or worldwide events in any way, and need additional support or someone to talk to, get in touch with us. We encourage students from all sides of any conflict to reach out.

The following information may also be helpful in coming to terms with emotions when impacted by global events.

Understand and acknowledge your feelings

  • It’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions when confronted by scenes of war, conflict or natural disasters happening across the world
  • Be aware how events might be affecting you, your peers, friends, your family or your community
  • Building strategies to manage emotions is a great way grow resilience and build a coping toolkit
  • Access AUT self-help tools and resources

Talk to someone

  • Reach out to friends, family or mental health professionals if you're feeling overwhelmed
  • Talking about your concerns can help alleviate anxiety and provide perspective
  • Connecting with others – a close friend a family member or someone you trust – can help you understand big issues that are affecting you
  • Keep connected with other students, community groups on campus, clubs and outside community groups
  • You can also speak to a counsellor, mental health advisor or other health professional who can support or refer to a relevant service within AUT or in the community:

Focus on what you can control

  • While you may not be able to directly influence geopolitical events, you can control how you respond to them
  • Focus on taking care of yourself, your loved ones, and your immediate community
  • While it's important to stay informed, try not to let geopolitical and worldwide events consume your entire worldview
  • Look for positive stories and actions happening around the world and consider how you can contribute to making a positive difference in your own way

Prioritise your wellbeing

  • Prioritising your own wellbeing and looking after yourself is important to support your mental wellness
  • Take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing, especially during times of heightened stress
  • Make sure to engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, whether it's spending time with loved ones, practising mindfulness, or pursuing hobbies
  • A great foundation to prioritising your wellbeing is the Mental Health Foundation 5 Ways to Wellbeing:

Dealing with any conflict on campus

  • During times of geo-political conflict, emotions can run high and there can be increased protest activity and differing views
  • AUT recognises the right to peaceful protest, in line with our Charter of Academic Freedom
  • We don’t accept intolerance or hostility towards any students, colleagues or other guests on campus
  • As an organisation it’s important that we make sure all our students, staff and visitors to our campuses can go about their studies and work.

If you’ve experienced any hostility, threats of violence, bullying or harassment find more information on our website or contact one of:

Contact us to get help

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised on this page, we can connect you to the right support if you reach out to the Student Hub:

Reach out and help others

Accessing support and connecting with others is not just good for our own wellbeing but also helps others – a supportive community brings about awareness on social issues and can make a positive contribution.