Tagged “Mental Health”

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School Program Helps Students Reach Their Full Potential

Canberra Secondary School, Singapore

This school aspires to develop students to their full potential—to teach them the right values, create a mindset for excellence, and nurture them to be responsible and caring citizens.  The Character Development Committee at this school put in place a structured program to enhance students' social emotional competencies. At the beginning of the year the Committee—after assessing student social emotional competencies—determines student social emotional needs. The Committee plans social emotional workshops and wellbeing periods to help them work on the needed skills. The workshops at this school were aimed at providing students with strategies to understand their strengths and weakness, teach them skills to help them cope with transition and change management, as well as encourage them to accept responsibility, and look ahead to the future. The wellness lessons helped their students develop self-awareness and self-management skills that will help them achieve personal overall wellbeing. The program served as a platform for teacher-student interaction and helped to develop camaraderie among students. At the end of the year students evaluate their competencies, which is then used to evaluate the program. The Wellbeing Program at Canberra Secondary School is a Singapore Health Promotion Board Platinum CHERISH Award winner for its efforts to improve student overall health and wellbeing.

Individualized Learning Shapes Successful Students

Dubbo School of Distance Education, Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
 

Dubbo School of Distance Education has been designated a MindMatters school by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute. The school, centered in Dubbo, Australia, provides individualized distance education options for students in preschool through 12th grade who are either unable to attend a face-to-face school or are pursuing a course of study that is unavailable at their local school. The flexibility that Dubbo provides allows students to receive a quality education that is tailored to their personal needs and lifestyles. Most notably, Dubbo has worked to improve access to mental health resources for its students and their families, helping them gain necessary support outside of the learning environment.

Nurturing Confidence, Compassion, and Personal Excellence in Students

Corpus Christi College, Bateman, Western Australia

Corpus Christi College is a co-educational high school of nearly 1,200 students located just south of Perth. The school provides a modern, exciting, and forward-thinking education experience for students, nurturing confidence, compassion, and personal excellence. The school is committed to educating young people to serve as school and community leaders and students are prepared to become life-long learners and global citizens.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Corpus Christi College has established a functional school-based core health and well-being team with clear processes and roles to support their work. The school has increased the number of trained staff and the range of professional development opportunities available to support staff wellness. Students are encouraged to take proactive leadership roles in mental health and well-being initiatives and mental health and resilience themes are integrated throughout the curriculum and extracurricular activities. Parent, family, and community involvement has expanded with regular parent information forums and direct links with community mental health services.

Mentor Teachers Build Relationships and Personalize Learning

Castlemaine Secondary College, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Castlemaine Secondary College serves 760 students and is located 120 kilometers northwest of Melbourne. The school recently dedicated itself to improving relationships between all members of the school community, improving the personalization of student learning, and developing the school's community partnerships. This has in turn resulted in the school developing the capacity of all teaching staff to be teachers of well-being. The introduction of a new pastoral care structure, including small small mentor groups, has also aided in improving relationships and the personalization of student learning. In addition all teaching staff have become mentors, and they have a key role in serving as the first point of contact for parents and other teachers whenever there are any concerns about students in their groups.

Supporting Disengaged Youth In and Beyond School

Albury Wodonga Community College, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia

Albury Wodonga Community College is an independent school for disengaged youth who face multiple barriers to learning and engagement in school. Since opening in 2006, the school has realized that it needs to provide both school and community level support for its students. The school is not solely focused on helping students finish school, but given the high number of students with mental health issues, is also committed to providing students with the knowledge and resources they require to cope with their issues. This includes knowledge of local support agencies and referral and links with community partners. Many students leave the school with the capacity to identify when they need support and know how to access it.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Albury Wodonga Community College has increased opportunities for students to successfully re-engage with education, established alternative pathways for student success, provided programs for young mothers, built facilities to assist with engagement with and connectedness to the school, and created stronger and more efficient community partnerships to support off-site classes along with a case worker to follow up with those students with extensive needs.

Every Individual Has a Role to Play

Aitken College, Greenvale, Victoria, Australia

Aitken College is a co-educational and independent preK–12 school serving families living in the northwest region of Melbourne. Students are encouraged to use their expanding knowledge as a basis for investigation, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. The school's well-being and mental health program is proactive, hands-on, skill-based, and data driven. The school has developed a core team, comprising a wide range of dedicated staff that raises awareness of well-being issues and develops different mental health and well-being initiatives. This core team is then able to inform policy and program development based around key concepts of student-staff well-being as a whole-school approach and that every individual has an important role to play.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Aitken College has a comprehensive life skills curriculum for all students that addresses self-image, self-esteem, relationships, sex and drug education, resiliency, bullying, mental health, and well-being. The school supports staff wellness, meditation classes for both staff and students, and a cybersafety group.

A Welcoming Community Provides a Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment

Guilford Young College, Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia

Guilford Young College is a co-educational senior secondary school in Tasmania. The school prides itself on acknowledging the whole person, encourages achievement, participation, and service and commits itself to the development of lifelong learning and the respect for self and others. It is a welcoming, compassionate community that provides a safe and inclusive learning environment for all.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Guilford Young College has increased its knowledge and understanding of mental health and further embedded the importance of a whole school approach to health and well-being. Responsibility and leadership has been broadly distributed across the staff and a parent group provides an open and non-threatening forum for parents to raise their concerns about student well-being, to provide feedback on school policies that impact on students and families, and to provide expert input on mental health and social pressures for young people.

Building a Positive School Culture for Diverse Students

Woodville High School, Woodville, South Australia

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Woodville High School has a complex and diverse student population with students coming from 56 cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In 2010, 12 percent of students were identified as students with disabilities, 51 percent as English language learners, and nearly 40 percent are from non English-speaking backgrounds.

Recently well-being became a key focus of at Woodville High School and was incorporated into the site learning plan. Since then, the school has developed initiatives on youth empowerment, building relationships, as well as a "no blame" and a restorative approach to behavior management. School policies have been revised and new procedures around bullying and harassment, including cyberbullying, have been developed. Staff are more confident and have the resources to address a range of mental health concerns and mentoring, parent, and community programs have been established.

Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Student Body

Coombabah State High School, Coombabah, Queensland, Australia

Coombabah State High School was established in 1986 as the community high school for the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast, serving students from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The student population has a high degree of mobility and this transient factor contributes to the increasing challenge for teachers to provide challenging and meaningful learning opportunities—at least 30 per cent of the student body is new to the school each year. The school offers many vocational education subjects ranging from hospitality, business, child care, multimedia, and health, to community and recreation. Students can also select from a vast range of academic subjects.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Coombabah State High School has been able to develop a supportive environment for all students and staff. For example, all year 8 teachers meet with student support teams, the head of the middle school, and outside personnel, including a mental health expert to identify at-risk students. Teachers are trained to quickly identify students who they feel are experiencing difficulties in the classroom in relation to coping skills, content, and social issues. The students are then interviewed and individual programs are developed to assist in the areas of concern.

Respecting and Valuing All Members of the Community

Kormilda College, Berrimah, Northern Territory, Australia

Kormilda College is an independent, coeducational, multicultural, day and residential secondary school serving the people of Northern Australia. The College was founded by the Northern Territory Government in 1967 to provide Aboriginal students living in isolated locations with access to secondary and further education. Kormilda College has grow into a vibrant multicultural learning community, with an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students, the majority of whom are day students from the greater Darwin area.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, the school has adopted a whole-school approach to pastoral care. Outcomes have included increased levels of resilience, more effective communication, mapping and managing mental health, promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity, and preventing harassment and bullying. The ultimate outcome is a positive school community, where all members are valued and respected.

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