Mental health, hygiene and wellbeing for higher education, TAFE and training providers

Guidance on managing mental health, hygiene and wellbeing for higher education, TAFE, and registered training organisations.

COVIDSafe plans

All TAFE and tertiary education providers must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place if they have any staff or students on site.

If a student or staff member is or has had contact with a confirmed case

Contact the Department of Health (DH) on 1300 651 160 to discuss what to do next if you think a student or staff member:

  • has a confirmed case, or
  • has been in close contact with a confirmed case

DH defines close contact as someone who has either:

  • had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or
  • shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case

Unless you have a student or staff member in one of the two above categories, you do not need to take further action.

You should continue to encourage good hygiene practices as this is the most effective way of minimising the spread of COVID-19.

Visit infection prevention control resources for more information.

If there is a confirmed case at your training provider

All providers must notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware that:

  • an employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or
  • the employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has attended the workplace within the relevant infection period

To report a confirmed case contact:

WorkSafe on 12 23 60 - for more information about how to report a confirmed case to WorkSafe are available on the WorkSafe website.

You should also contact the COVID-19 hotline at DH for advice on closure and contact tracing: 1800 675 398.

Face masks

For information about face masks, visit Face masks - when to wear a face mask.

Physical distancing tips

There are still a number of actions that organisations can take to help reduce the risk of transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Victorian community.

In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, tertiary education providers should consider a variety of strategies to support physical distancing and good hygiene practices. Physical distancing measures include non-contact greetings (no handshakes) and maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between individuals where possible.

Physical distancing is important in reducing physical contact and maintaining high standards of hygiene and will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. 

Maintaining good health hygiene

Remind your staff and students that everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.

Here are some tips that everyone can follow:

  • cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow
  • dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterward
  • wash your hands often, after using the toilet, and before eating

Health promotion materials are available to distribute and promote to your staff and students, refer to:

Mental health and wellbeing

It's important that we continue to look out for ourselves, and for each other.

The following organisations have web pages with advice on looking after your mental health:

Employee assistance program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Department of Education and Training staff - including their immediate families (aged over 18) - to access personalised psychological support via the phone or video conference. Call 1300 361 008

Leaders and managers can access EAP's Manager Assist for additional, personalised support, coaching, and guidance. Call 1300 361 008.

Find information on the supports and structures available to schools to help implement health and safety guidelines and advice: COVID-19 employee health, safety and wellbeing supports for schools.

Family violence response

Family violence incidents and risks can increase during emergency or traumatic situations.

For information about supporting students, families, and staff experiencing family violence visit,  Family violence reform.

Reviewed 21 July 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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