Victorian schools have drawn on a range of implementation models to successfully improve outcomes in student mental health and wellbeing over time. These stories of success and best practice are summarised below.
Case study 1: Rural primary school
A rural primary school has 102 students. An analysis of the Attitudes to School Survey (AtoSS) data indicates a downward trend in school connectedness. The school decides to implement Positive Education, a whole-school approach to positive mental health. In addition, the school also engages an Arts Therapist for specific cohorts to reduce the barriers experienced by some students, and trains one staff member in Community Understanding and Safety Training (CUST) delivered by community members associated with Local Aboriginal Education Groups and Koorie Engagement Officersto support the high number of Koorie students at the school.
Case study 2: Metropolitan P-12 college
A large P-12 college in metropolitan Victoria has 2,611 students. The school has students from a wide range of backgrounds and wants to ensure that teachers have the skills and knowledge to meet the students’ needs through cross-cultural responsiveness training. The school has also identified a higher number of students experiencing mental health issues. The school trains some of its teachers in Youth Mental Health First Aid to ensure early identification of students at risk and the school employs a school psychologist at 1.0 FTE and ensures support from SSS is integrated into their processes. The school also has plans to engage a teacher to provide additional wellbeing support to primary students. This teacher will have the portfolio and time allocation to build the capability of staff to embed the school’s social and emotional learning program. Finally, the school engages a dog therapy program to support small groups of students experiencing anxiety and school refusal.
Reviewed 09 September 2022