Learn more about the Commissioner for Children and Young People Mentally Healthy Education Award Finalists

This award is presented by the Commissioner for Children and Young People for education institutions that encourage good mental health for its students, staff and volunteers.

These are in no particular order

SMYL Community College
SMYL Community College opened in 2011. The College operates a multi-campus model covering the local government areas of Fremantle, Cockburn, Kwinana, Rockingham and Mandurah with a current capacity of 570 students, including specialist campus sites for highly anxious students at Fremantle, Rockingham and a young women’s program which is delivered off-campus in Medina. The Young Women’s Program is aimed at young women who are disengaged, or at risk if disengaging due to severe anxiety. The College set up specific sites for highly anxious students in response to the fact that a high level of anxiety can interfere with aspects of cognition that are critical for successful learning, such as being able to pay attention to what needs to be learned, being able to process information and retrieving and demonstrating previously learned information. Students living with high levels of anxiety can be easily frustrated, can fear embarrassment, feel humiliated or fear they will fail. To ensure that these students can receive the best possible learning experience, separate sites have been established with a view to shielding students from the triggering behaviour of others, and establishing a supportive environment that attends to their needs, by providing a quiet work space, experienced staff, sensory zones, a higher ratio of student support staff who are cognisant of sensory issues, can implement strategies to minimise sensory seeking or avoidance and provide additional supports to assist students to develop anxiety coping strategies. We believe that we are the only school providing this type of specialised campus.

North Albany Senior High School
North Albany SHS (NASHS) is a regional school with the lowest SEI and many students are from homes that have a low socio-economic factor, parents with limited education or knowledge of support and a number with mental health issues. Over the past nine years NASHS community has focused on developing a culture centred on a “Wrap around Model”. Transition processes are founded on “Building a Village” and all practices focus on the student as the centre of the service with a strong emphasis on their social, emotional and academic development. “Students First and Foremost” is the school Ethos. NASHS was ERG in 2011, which led to many processes being developed and/or refined to change/enhance the culture of the school and community impressions. There has been significant change with community perception of NASHS having improved and this is reflected in the student population increase: 350 in 2013, reaching 600 in 2015 and now 850 in 2019. 120 staff are engaged at NASHS across a range of roles, but do include a Chaplain, School Psychologist, Nurse, two Student Service Program Coordinators (SSPC), Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) and a Youth Worker within the Student Service Team to support student engagement at the social, emotional and academic levels. The student population is approx 12% aboriginal; 56% male; 3.7% Disability Funded students and 8% with diagnosed Learning Difficulty. The community support is strong and evident with the parents willing to promote, support and engage in activities to help their children with input from the local community service groups. However, Albany does not always have the required specialist services, or there are long wait periods for others such as mental health. The Noongar and Filipino cultures add richness and complexity to the school and its community. Currently, Clontarf and the Wirrapundi Foundations have programs facilitated in the school with a focus on mental health.

Kinross Primary School
Kinross is a small suburb in the City of Joondalup located in the northern suburbs of Perth. Kinross was constructed around 1992-3 in various stages. Kinross Primary School commenced operations in 1995 and became an Independent Public School in 2013. Kinross Primary School (KPS) prides itself on nurturing the educational, physical, social and emotional well-being of all its students ensuring they are well equipped for the essential skills required to become lifelong learners. By providing a safe and supportive environment Kinross PS is committed to enabling their students to discover more about themselves and their world, growing into responsible citizens well-equipped to embrace the demands of a 21st century global society. At Kinross Primary School our motto is 'Growing Together'. Their core values are CARE; care and compassion. acceptance, respect and resilience and excellence.  The school has well-established programs and strategies in place to support the whole community, promoting the importance of mental health and implementing prevention strategies and acting decisively and promptly when any member of the community is in emotional distress.

Ocean Road Primary School
Ocean Road Primary School (ORPS) is nearly twenty years old and there are 670 students enrolled, coming from broad ranging socio-economic backgrounds. At ORPS, shares responsibility to create a learning environment where students can develop the skill and the will necessary to successfully access and apply knowledge enabling them to become effective citizens in our ever changing world. They recognise that they play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of their students. ORPS believe learning is a partnership with parents, carers and others in the community, all of whom have a role to play in nurturing the love of learning needed for success at school and in life. ORPS is the most southern public school in the South Metropolitan Education Region.  The school community is significantly isolated from essential allied child and family services and is often the only local place that their families can access such support.