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Supporting the teaching of mental health through health and physical education AISNSW conference 22 May 2009 Using the Internet and game-based technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting the teaching of mental health through health and physical education AISNSW conference 22 May 2009 Using the Internet and game-based technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting the teaching of mental health through health and physical education AISNSW conference 22 May 2009 Using the Internet and game-based technology to promote youth mental health

2 What does the research tell us about … the mental health of young people? resilience and how to become resilient? promoting mental health in schools? using technology to promote mental health?

3 Most young Australians feel they’re in good health 93% of youth rated their health as “excellent”, “very good” or “good” Health influenced by: –Education –Employment –Economic status Source: AIHW. Australia’s young people: their health and wellbeing 2007.

4 But areas of concern remain Psychological distress increasing Just over 25% of people aged have been diagnosed with a mental disorder –Anxiety disorders: 11% –Affective disorders: 7% –Substance use disorders: 16%

5 Level of disability Depression is equivalent to that caused by blindness or paraplegia Active psychosis is between paraplegia and quadriplegia Source: The World Health Organisation and the World Bank (1996)

6 In the average Year 12 classroom … 7 young people have experienced a mental health disorder Only 2 of those 7 will have sought professional help At least 1 young person will have attempted suicide 75% of mental illness has onset years old but …. –Help not sought for at least 5 – 15 years.

7 Some young people are at greater risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Culturally and linguistically diverse Same-sex attracted and transgender Young carers Young person living with a disability Low SES

8 Mental wellness vs mental illness Card ranking activity Mental illness Mental wellness

9 Resilience … what, who, how The happy knack of being able to bungee jump through the pitfalls of life. Andrew Fuller, 1998 How can we support the development of resilience in health and physical education programs and broader school activities? Risk factors Protective factors

10 What is Reach Out all about? Promoting positive mental health and increasing mental health literacy and help-seeking in young people aged Web-based RO is anonymous and confidential Available 24/7 Evidence-based and moderated by experts Youth-friendly content

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12 Heads up: Skills for Life resource Supports the use of the RO website in classrooms Supports the development of: –help-seeking strategies –skills to support others –critical health literacy

13 The process

14 Reach Out Central – Overview Target audience: –young people aged 16-25, particularly young men. Combines gaming technology with CBT Objectives: –Increase mental health literacy –Increase skills to change thoughts and solve problems –Application of learned skills to improve mental health

15 Reach Out Central teacher resource School version of game: Resources:

16 Community partnerships Sense of belonging an important protective factor Meaningful participation and engagement can promote resilience

17 Reach Out Teachers’ Network Membership benefits Free to join Access to free curriculum resources Access to free professional development webinars Access to the latest research on technology and youth mental health in schools - FREE

18 Contact details Janice Atkin Reach Out Program Manager Inspire Foundation Ph: E:


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