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Phoebe Joyce - Helping school communities to be well and stay well


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Presentation by Phoebe Joyce, from Mentally Healthy WA - Helping school communities to be well and stay well. Presented at the Western Australian Mental Health Conference 2019.

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Phoebe Joyce - Helping school communities to be well and stay well

  1. 1. Helping school communities to be well and stay well
  2. 2. The Mentally Healthy Schools Program: School based mental health promotion
  3. 3. Risk factors • Social isolation • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol • Life crisis/trauma • Discrimination • Lack of control • Lack of meaning and purpose
  4. 4. Protective factors • Good social network • Being physically active • Control over your life • Keeping an active mind • Belonging to a community group • Recognition for achievements • Having meaning and purpose
  5. 5. Act-Belong-Commit Boosting resilience and wellbeing to prevent the onset of mental health problems
  6. 6. Be active in as many ways as you can: physically, socially, mentally, spiritually … Do something
  7. 7. Belong - join in community activities, get together with friends or family, join a sports, arts or recreational group, a car club, a choir, a book club, … Do something with someone
  8. 8. Commit - Set goals and take on challenges, learn a new skill, help others, support a good cause, volunteer… Do something meaningful
  9. 9. Act-Belong-Commit in the School setting Learning new things, being physically active, lunch-time clubs, whole school events that promote a sense of belonging, giving back to the community, being socially active, becoming a student leader, joining a school committee… There are many opportunities in the school setting to embed Act-Belong-Commit within.
  10. 10. Health Promoting Schools Framework
  11. 11. Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (classroom) Lesson guides linking Act-Belong-Commit to the curriculum: - Health and Physical Education - Health Studies - English - Science Other in class resources available: - Factsheets - Interactive classroom activities (Mood Diary, Chatterbox etc.) - Weekly Planner - Mindful colouring
  12. 12. Environment, Ethos and Organisation This may include: - School mental health policy templates - Posters to display around the school - Signage to loan - Merchandise - Articles to include in newsletters - Link existing activities and events to Act-Belong-Commit message - ‘Act-Belong-Committee’
  13. 13. Partnerships and Services This may include: - Message promotion at whole school events - Act-Belong-Commit awards at assembly - Logo used in email signature, yearly planner and on school website - Linking with Act-Belong-Commit on social media - Media release templates and shared promotion of school events - Encouraging parents to volunteer at school events for own mental health and wellbeing - Backed by state-wide campaign
  14. 14. Evaluation
  15. 15. • 30% of students surveyed (over 15,000 young people) had done or tried to do something for their mental health as a result of Act-Belong-Commit in their school • 37% of students changed they way they think about mental health • 24% reported talking about mental health with their friends Student Impact
  16. 16. • Nearly half (43%) of staff surveyed had done or tried to do something for their mental health as a result of Act-Belong-Commit in their school • 43% of staff changed they way they think about mental health • 45% reported talking about mental health with other school staff Staff Impact
  17. 17. What does this mean? • Increased mental health literacy in these groups • Staff are role models for their students • Increased openness = increased early help seeking, and hence the prevention of more serious disorders
  18. 18. Mental stress claims by Australian educators are among the highest of any profession Risk Factors: - workload, - challenging workplace environments and relationships, - expectations from the community, both locally and more broadly. Protective Factors: - connectedness with children and young people and colleagues, - feeling supported by colleagues, - receiving recognition for work.
  19. 19. What makes you feel connected and energised might make your colleague feel exhausted. Part of self-care is finding out what works for you. You probably already have a few ‘go-to’ activities to help you relax (for some people, a cup of tea and a book might do the trick; for others, the only way to unwind is by hitting the gym to work off stress).
  20. 20. Additional Information • • Brain Ambulance ( • Youth Mental Health First Aid • Be You ( • Heads Up ( • WA Health Promoting Schools Association (
  21. 21. Contact and Acknowledgements Phoebe Joyce Health Promotion Coordinator (Schools) Act-Belong-Commit Campaign Mentally Healthy WA P: (08) 9266 1873 E: W: