Learn more about our Education Award Finalists
This award is for education institutions that encourage good mental health for its students, staff and volunteers.
Kalamunda Senior High School
Opened in 1960 and set in the hills and forest area of Perth, Kalamunda Senior High School is a long established school with proud traditions. Drawing on the hills and surrounding suburbs, the school has a strong sense of community stretching across three generations.
The school is a close knit community which is now into its third generation of hills families. Some of our past students have returned to Kalamunda as staff members. Not surprisingly, one of Kalamunda’s values is “Community” which, along with our other values of “Respect, Resilience, Love of Learning and Pride”, is encompassed in our efforts to achieve our vision of Sharing our Forest of Possibilities.
Kalamunda SHS has been an Act Belong Commit 'mentally healthy' school since 2011. As a school it took steps to find ways to increase positive health of the students. The Act Belong Commit message is simple but effective way to increase positive mental health and help prevent poor mental health outcomes in its students, and is driven by school psychologist, Jenny Edmonds.
In addition to this, the school also has a school chaplain, pastoral care and transitional programs, a manager of student services, a duty officer; a mentor group of students, and is part of the Bullying No Way anti bullying policy.
Cooinda Primary School
Cooinda Primary School has been based in Bunbury for 50 years. It prides itself on promoting good mental health throughout the school community by using a vast array of strategies to accomplish this. It encourages its students to seek the value of having good mental health and striving to be the best they can be. Cooinda promotes inclusiveness through running extra supportive programs, sharing its resources and building connections to the wider community.
Cooinda PS is part of the BeYou and Act-Belong-Commit school programs to promote better mental health and also has various strategies to address bullying. Real Justice practices are used with the Restoritive Justice practices in the playground and classrooms. This has also been closely linked to the 'Keys to Success' in the school's social/emotional learning program - You Can Do It.
Children who attend the ' Reflection Room' to discuss behavioural choices also follow this process. These practices assist children to make choices which support their behaviour and mental health.
All of our mental health initiatives and programs are discussed openly and regularly with students to encourage use of a common language which reduced stigmas associated with mental health.
At Cooinda PS, cultural awareness days are acknowledged and celebrated such as NAIDOC Week and Harmony Day. Opportunities are given to varied cultures who attend the school (and the wider community) to use its facilities. Students are encouraged to participate in cultural celebrations in the city of Bunbury, after practising and rehearsing at the school.
Cooinda actively takes part in special days which support this too: Day for Daniel is supported annually, RUOK? Day, Pay it Forward Ripple Kindness days, and we are a registered National Day Against Bullying school. Many of these concepts have also been worked into its assembly items to broaden the audience receiving the messages.
Coodanup College is an Independent Public School located within a disadvantaged community in Mandurah, and hosts 754 students. The College supports a wide range of at-risk minority groups including (but not limited to); 175 Aboriginal students, 52 Students with Disability Resourcing and 35 in the care of Child Protection & Family Support (CPFS).
The College believes that forming and maintaining positive student relationships and creating a sense of belonging is the foundation for student wellbeing and achievement at the college.
At any given time, many young people are facing extreme pressures which they are not equipped to manage solely on their own. These issues regularly manifest into mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, and suicidal ideation/ behaviour.
In response to these challenges, the College wanted to find a way suppot its young people to recognise their needs early, and to empower each other to openly engage in meaningful conversations regularly and seek support. Ultimately, we wanted to help create a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.
The RUOK message provided a strengths-based approach for our community to collectively share a positive message about being a good mate, and reducing the stigma of mental health.
The school provides opportunities for students to have positive relationships with both staff and fellow students with time dedicated to pastoral care/ connection/ access to specialist services.
Connecting young people with members of the community for mentoring sessions is also vital.
It offers a range of student services programs to connect with youth including (but not limited to): Drumbeat, Build a Bike, Boxing, Self-Esteem Building groups, Kids Yoga and Seasons for Growth. ·
Offering access to a range of local on-site services to bridge the gap between youth and access to mental health care including Youth Focus, Helping Minds, Reconnect, PYMS, Palmerston and Peel Youth Services.
It initiated a College ‘Zen Den’ which is a space dedicated to students with disabilities to have daily check-ins and conversations with support workers in a relaxed, youth friendly environment.
A "safe listening ear" culture, and male and female chaplains and a youth support worker on site also provide important support channels.
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