The dilemma of those international students with mental health problems in Austrlia during COVID-19

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I would like to write a news feature about the international students, who have an anxiety disorder and depression, about the dilemma during the period of COVID-19.

This piece with start with my own experience, about how I suffer anxiety disorder and depression, and what problems do I meet as an overseas student in Australia under quarantine. For example, If go to the hospital means the potential risk of getting the coronavirus, what could we do if we need psychological counselling? Also, patients who have mental health problem need to walk out and socialize with others, while what could we do when we have to lockdown?


Why is this topic timely?

The experience and feeling of the international students in Australia are neglecting when Coronavirus becoming the central issue. There were 27 international students suicided in 2019 in Victoria, which indicates the international students hardly to seek assistance compared with Australia peers (Ryan, 2019).

Time difference leads to these international students to be alienated from old friends. It is also hard for them to make new friends and communicate with others because of the language barriers. When all the courses moving to online, they are isolated. At the same time, the express delivery is also impacted. Although some students have booked the flight preparing back home, ome voice argues that international students should not get back, because they may bring COVID-19. In this situation, how do international students access to the medicine they need and take care of themselves under quarantine should be considered seriously.



Target publication?

This news feature is imagined to the Junkee, which including news and commentary. The Junkee mainly targets the youth in Australia, covering a broad range of topics (Junkee, n.d.). The readers of Junkee could also be a suitable audience of my piece, such as the youth in Australia, especially the international students. Also, I find mental health is an essential topic of Junkee, some similar news could provide tags and links jumping to my piece.

According to the research, about 792 million people have mental health disorder, which is slightly about 10.7% of the people globally (Ritchie & Roser, 2018). Here is a map from their research showing the distribution of this data more visually. Besides, The news on Junkee only talks broadly, there is no international students perspective, this piece would fill the gap and promote visibility.

Retreived from:


Structure and Sources?

I will start with a brief sharing of my own experience to attract the audience, also I will try to interview my psychologist, and other students with mental health problem if they agree to be interviewed, this would be anonymous to protect interviewees. The angle of  international students perspectivewould be given at the introduction. As for the body paragraphs, I would use multimedia and links to separate that into three parts.

  • How they impacted by COVID-19?
  • Why the international students need help?
  • What could they do during the COVID-19?

To avoid this piece would impact their emotion, I will add relevant links such as mental health assistance tips video, OSHC insurance website , facebook and twitter hashtag link and online psychological counselling at the end of news features to help the readers and improve the interactivity.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Yutong, first I want to send my best wishes to you and I really appreciate your willingness to share your own experience with us.

    I think your topic and angle are of great news value. It could be a really emotionally engaging piece. What you could do more is to think about the source of information. How many interviewees are you going to interview? Will you interview psychology scholars? Can we hear multiple voices from other countries? You did well in using multimedia in this proposal. Although you didn’t elaborate on how you will use them in your final piece, I guess you would also include infographic, videos, photos, audios like you did here. (I really love the audio of yourself) To improve the interactivity, a quiz or poll would also be interesting~

    However, I’m a little bit confused about how you are going to narrate. How would you shift from your point of view to a third-person narration? Since it’s only 1000 words, is that possible to only present your story in audio and write in an objective voice? Lastly, I feel you can think more about the title. If you choose to focus on a mental health perspective,” the dilemma ” might be a little bit too broad. If the stories mostly come from Chinese students, “international” may also need to be reconsidered. (I personally think you are focusing on the dilemma those Chinese students with mental health issues are facing)

    In all, great work! Good luck with everything~ I Look forward to seeing your final piece!

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