Mental health advocate to receive USC medal - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Mental health advocate to receive USC medal

25 Sep 2019

A tireless mental health and women’s body image advocate, Amy de Wet, will receive a prestigious Chancellor’s Medal when she graduates from USC with Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) this week.

Recognising high academic achievements and impressive volunteer community work, the Chancellor’s Medal is the university’s highest accolade available to graduating students.

While completing her thesis on the impact of self-compassion on body image in women, 21-year-old Amy of Sippy Downs, also took on the social media team leader role with USC Active Minds and often volunteered for events related to boosting wellbeing.

“Active Minds provides a forum and open environment for all students to speak about mental health by providing information designed to reduce stigma and raise mental health awareness,” Amy said.

“As part of the group I helped run a stall at Orientation Week encouraging other current students to join and presented a speech on how to maintain positive mental health whilst studying,” she said.

“I also volunteered for Red Frogs, and at events including RUOK? Day and World Health Day,” she said.

Off campus, Amy volunteered her time at a Nambour soup kitchen for the homeless, as well as at Lily House, a Sunshine Coast based safehouse for women who have experienced domestic violence. Amy also volunteers at Eloff and Andrews Clinical Psychology, assisting psychologists in running a support group for children with mental health issues.

“I have the privilege of getting to help other people whether that be getting their mental health back on track, providing them with a meal at the soup kitchen, or creating a space where people feel safe, valued, and listened to,” Amy said.

Amy is so committed to helping others and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health that she’s already applied to return to university next year.

“I started my degree in 2015 straight out of high school knowing that I wanted to help people, and that the best way to help someone is to understand them,” Amy said.

“I’m now focussed on becoming a clinical psychologist and am applying to do my Masters of Clinical Psychology at USC next year and would love to one day obtain a PhD in psychology,” she said.

Currently working at her old high school Suncoast Christian College to assist students with learning disabilities and mental health issues, Amy said she was honoured to be receiving a Chancellor’s Medal.

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