Healthy Minds Survey

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is ARCSHS?

ARCSHS is the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society. It is one of a number of specialised centres and institutes within the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and was first established in February 1993. The aims of ARCSHS are to:

  • undertake research into social, psychological and cultural aspects of human sexuality and sexual health
  • provide research leadership at state, national and international levels
  • provide knowledge, skills and resources to assist other organisations in health promotion, service delivery and the formulation of public policy

ARCSHS is the sponsor and host of the Healthy Minds survey.

Why complete the survey?

Completing this survey will give you an opportunity to provide important information that helps researchers, health professionals, governments and other policymakers to better understand the mental health and quality of life of PLHIV.

How will my survey information be used?

Data from the Healthy Minds survey may be used in the development of policies, programs, and in the delivery of support to assist PLHIV to lead happier, healthier lives. Your input therefore has the potential to influence how governments and community organisations develop ways of supporting PLHIV.

Some of this research may be reported in journal articles or other publications or presentations, but only in aggregate form; your answers will not be singled out in any way. All data from this survey will be kept by La Trobe University for a minimum of five years, after which it may be destroyed in a secure way.

What does the survey cover?

The Healthy Minds survey first asks some general background questions about you, such as your age and education, followed by some questions about your physical health. It then asks questions about mental health and other experiences of life, such as what you find meaningful in life and how supported you feel.

Will my identity be known to anyone if I participate?

No. You will remain anonymous. No identifying information will be collected. The survey has been set up at a secure website address provided by our survey provider. No staff at either the provider site or at ARCSHS will have access to your IP address.

At the start of the survey, we ask for your month/year of birth and give you an option to provide your initials. It will not be possible to identify you based on this information. However, we ran this survey last year and may run it again in the future. This allows us to examine changes in people's experience of life and will be important for providing updated in-depth information to help improve programs that assist PLHIV. Providing your month/year of birth and initials will help us to tell which surveys belong to the same person while at the same time ensuring you remain anonymous.

Please note that confidentiality of the results will be maintained at all times. Only staff working on the Healthy Minds project at ARCSHS will have password access to the data.

How long will it take to complete the survey?

The survey will take around 20-30 minutes to complete and will mostly involve simple click-to-answer questions. The exact number of questions varies according to what you have to tell us. You will need to set aside time to fill out the whole survey in one sitting. You will not be able to return to a partially completed survey at a later time, so we ask you to select a time of day where you can go through the survey without distraction. Your progress through the survey will be indicated via a visual indicator located at the bottom of every page.

How do I exit if I decide to end the session but haven't reached the end of the survey?

Should you wish to end the survey before completion, simply close your browser window. Partially completed surveys will not be used in this research, so unless you completed the survey by clicking "Submit Answers", your responses will not have been recorded.

Will I have access to the information I give about myself?

No. Because we do not have access to the identity of any of our participants, we will be unable to provide any individual with information. However, publications or presentations that describe the overall findings of the Healthy Minds survey will be available once they have been completed.

How can I obtain information about the survey results once they are completed?

The availability of any publications or presentations that result from this research will be advertised on the ARCSHS website in the future at So stay tuned. You may also request any available reports of results by using the contact details below.

Is this a follow-up survey?

Yes, this is a follow-up survey. It is possible that you completed the survey approximately 12 months ago. By completing it again this year, you will help us find out how much our well-being changes, and this information will be important for staying updated and for identifying effective ways of supporting PLHIV over time.

What can I do if the survey raises any concerns?

If you have any questions about this survey, you can contact Dr Anthony Lyons:

Dr Anthony Lyons
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society
School of Psychology and Public Health
College of Science, Health and Engineering
La Trobe University
ph: +61 3 9479 8719

If you have any complaints or concerns about your participation in the study that the researcher has not been able to answer to your satisfaction, you may contact the Senior Human Ethics Officer, Ethics and Integrity, Research Office, La Trobe University, Victoria, 3086 (P: 03 9479 1443, E: Please quote the application reference number FHEC14/15.

If completing this survey brings up experiences that have been distressing or leads to further questions about the topics covered, you can also try discussing your concerns by contacting any of the following organisations:

Lifeline ( - 13 11 14

Beyondblue ( - 1300 224 636

Health Direct Australia (to speak to a nurse or GP for free) - 1800 022 222

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations - (02) 9557 9399

National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS - 1800 259 666