Presentation on theme: "This PowerPoint presentation is part of a suite of initiatives produced through Mind Matters Plus. It is meant to be used in conjunction with supporting."— Presentation transcript:
1This PowerPoint presentation is part of a suite of initiatives produced through Mind Matters Plus. It is meant to be used in conjunction with supporting material.
2What helps students in mental health & wellbeing connect to school? Perspectives from students & staff in the context of MindMattersThis PowerPoint presentation is designed to provide information on learnings about connection to school for students with support needs in mental health and wellbeing gathered within the MindMatters Plus demonstration.The two sources of information are:a review of the literature (in a range of mediums) to identify relevant views of young people about engagement with schoola study in which 12 staff were interviewed.The Presentation is designed to inform staff and stimulate discussion.The ‘Using this package’ information and Reflection on Connection Discussion Sheet will assist in planning.
3Section A: Introduction to new learnings from MindMatters Plus What helps students with supportneeds in mental health & wellbeingconnect to school?Section A of this presentation provides an overview and introduction to the results of the two studies on student connection.(Section B reports on a study of student voicesSection C reports on a study where staff were interviewedSection D looks at the school implications for school practice of these 2 studies)
4MindMatters Plus www.agca.com.au Aimed to build upon the capacity of schools to improve outcomes in mental health and wellbeing17 demonstration schools
5MindMatters Plus www.agca.com.au Learnings to strengthen MindMatters resources & professional development from the perspective of students with support needs in mental health and wellbeing
6What do we need from schools? We need precision with individual students with additional and specific needsWe need to be able to guide all young people and adults in the decisions they make, specifically encourage a sense of optimism in the future and faith in themselves – autonomy (Assoc Prof L Rowling 2005)This statement formed part of Professor Rowling’s key note address at the National AGCA Conference in Adelaide 2005 titledYoung people, mental health and wellbeing: now and into the future.
7Connection to school www.agca.com.au An established protective factor for health & education for young peopleLikely to be more significant for students with support needs
8Reflecting on connecting www.agca.com.au MindMatters Plus - an opportunity to learnmore about connection to school:What can students with high mental health support needs tell us?How do staff members see it & what do they do?
9Section B: Perspectives from students What helps students with support needs in mental health & wellbeingconnect to school?Section B reports on a summary of research into how students see engagement with school.(Section A of this presentation provides an overview and introduction to the results of the two studies on student connection.Section C reports on a study where staff were interviewedSection D looks at the school implications for school practice of these 2 studies)
10Study 1: Student voices about school engagement www.agca.com.au We could not locate any authoritative study that has specifically sought and reported the voices of young people with high support needs in mental health about engagement with school. Holdsworth and Blanchard 2005Therefore titled Unheard VoicesA report on this study is available onA copy of the tip sheet Unheard Voices: Student Tips for Schools is also included in this package.
11Messages from young people strong relationships 1. Build & maintain “I only look forward to seeing my mates really.”1. Build & maintainstrong relationships“We gave the teacher respect from the start because he respected & understood us too.”
12Messages from young people strong relationships “I was lucky to have a great schoolcounsellor at my school. She helped me organise meetings with my teachers about my situation, got me involved in a support group & helped me find information on my illness.”1. Build & maintainstrong relationships
13Messages from young people 2. Be informed: Mental health literacy helps students with problems, staff & peers
14Messages from young people 2. www.agca.com.au “We needed more people knowing what it was, noticing the signs & making you more aware of this kind of illness because I didn’t know anything about it. I just thought it was normal. If people could recognise the symptoms a bit then it could stop before it gets worse.”
15Messages from young people 2. Be informed: Mental health literacy helps students with problems, staff & peers“Sometimes the teachers expect me to be able to concentrate when at times it’s difficult.”
16Messages from young people 3. Understand the importance of teaching & learning to students“It doesn’t need to be fun all the time, not fun, just worthwhile.”“She helps you with your ideas. She helps you make your ideas matter if that makes sense …”
17Messages from young people 3. Understand the importance of teaching & learning to students“If you’re enjoying something you’re doing, then maybe you’ll be more eager to do it more.”
18Messages from young people 4. Avoid stigma www.agca.com.au “I think it’s good that most teachers hererecognise everyone’s originality & personality…So we’re not all put in together.”4. Avoid stigma
19Messages from young people 4. Avoid stigma www.agca.com.au “Schools need to be vigilant in addressing all forms of bullying to prevent feelings of inadequacy that are manifested in problems such as eating disorders.”4. Avoid stigma
20Messages from young people “I wanted everyone to stop organising my life for me.”5. Involve students strongly in decision making & give them control“It’s nice to have a teacher who trusts you to do something on your own.”
21Messages from young people “The school is helpful by making sure I’m OK with everything at school.”5. Involve students strongly in decision making & give them control“Be sensitive to my needs as an individual. Treat me fairly – my needs may be different to others.”
22Messages from young people 6. Understand the whole person “Last week I got chucked out of my house, but the SWC was able to find me somewhere to go for the time being. I got a bit behind with my work, but the teachers have been pretty good about it, until I get things sorted out.”6. Understand the whole person
23Messages from young people 6. Understand the whole person “It’s good when they know what you’re having to deal with at home – what happens before you get to school each day.”6. Understand the whole person
24Messages from young people “Facilities are one of the most important things. If facilities are working and clean it makes you feel comfortable & it is easier to learn.”7. Consider the quality of the school facilities & resources
25Messages from young people 7. www.agca.com.au “The flexibility of this school makes a real difference. I have a young child, so the teachers don’t mind if I miss assembly or have to take time off if she is sick. It’s hard to find a school that doesn’t have a uniform & recognises that I have been out of school for a few years. It was really necessary for me to come back to complete Year 12.”
26Section C: Perspective from Staff What helps students with support needs in mental health & wellbeingconnect to school?Section C reports on a study where staff were interviewed(Section A of this presentation provides an overview and introduction to the results of the two studies on student connection.Section B reports on a summary of research into how students see engagement with school.Section D looks at the school implications for school practice of these 2 studies)
27Study 2: Staff interviews about ‘connection to school’ www.agca.com.au 12 staff from four MM+ demonstrations schools:What is connection to school?What about connection for students with support needs in mental health?What do you do to help students connect to school?Full details of this study can be found in:Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling Vol x 2006. Staff Voices: What helps students with high support needs in mental health connect to school? S Anderson, H Kerr-Roubicek and L RowlingAn information sheet on the study with the same title is included in this package.
28What is ‘connection to school’? www.agca.com.au Dynamic process influenced by factors within the individual, the school & the familyImportant in the stabilisation of students experiencing problems
29What is ‘connection to school’? www.agca.com.au Often more complex for students with support needsSocial connection through 1:1 relationships between the student & a peer or staff member is very important
30Staff beliefsConnection is the basis for engagement in further activities & learning
31Staff beliefs www.agca.com.au “…the importance of relationships – that is the cement that keeps this place going... The actual relationship is the outcome which is under recognised I reckon.” Ken
32Staff beliefs for ALL students & staff www.agca.com.au Shared belief: A positive welcoming school community where there is mutual respect & care between people, is a platform for connectionfor ALL students & staff
33Staff beliefs www.agca.com.au “It works because people work together & support each other. Part of being a community… is that everyone has a say & everyone is equal. So even though we have a Principal & a DP, & they are there for disciplinary reasons if we need them, actually very rarely we need them because… everyone bands together & sorts it out.” Sandy
34Staff beliefs www.agca.com.au the identity of schoolthe physical placea place for personal & social relationshipsa place to contribute, learn & be recogniseda caring safe placeStudents connect with different aspects of school
35Elements of the positive, welcoming school community www.agca.com.au Strong leadershipDiverse staff work well as a team & are supportedThe climate & curriculum in the school is open & responsive to the real lives & aspirations of students
36Elements of the positive, welcoming school community www.agca.com.au Safety is the bottom line for everybodyPastoral care makes sure everyone is knownThere are many opportunities to shine & develop identityThere is a valuing of relationship building, including through a range of informal activities
37“Reach out to your students with high mental health support needs” Making‘people connections’ is a keyInvolve particular staff in the specific task of reaching out to students with high mental health support needsNurture strong collegial support amongst these staff“Reach out to your students with high mental health support needs”
38Making ‘people connections’ is a key www.agca.com.au Provide multiple points of contact for students with high mental health support needsActively seek to build bridges for individuals from first meeting
39Making ‘people connections’ is a key www.agca.com.au Share these tips Search for a hookClose the distance between staff & studentsHelp kids feel normalAdd extra structure to help the students succeedShare these tips
40Making ‘people connections’ is a key www.agca.com.au Share these tips Promote a sense that school can be like a home & family in some waysBe upfront about confidentialityBe prepared to persistShare these tips
41Section D: Implications of student and staff views for school practice What helps students with supportneeds in mental health & wellbeingconnect to school?Section D looks at the school implications for school practice of these two studies(Section A of this presentation provides an overview and introduction to the results of the two studies on student connection.Section B reports on a summary of research into how students see engagement with school.Section C reports on a study where staff were interviewed)
42Students and Staff agree A positive, welcoming school community is a great platformCaring, mutually respectful relationships across the school are important for connection to school
43Students and Staff agree One positive relationship is a great startConnection (for students & staff) is dependent on feeling safe and valued
44Students and Staff agree The whole lives of students experiencing problems are particularly relevant to their experience of school
45Students and Staff agree Improving mental health literacy amongst staff & peers helps students & staffRelevant curriculum is important & needs to be assessed appropriately
46Students placed more stress on these Decision making & control for themselves at schoolAvoiding stigmaConfidentialityTest:How well does this school affirm diversity every day & deal with bullying, harassment & violence?
47Some implications www.agca.com.au Likely benefits in a particular focus on helping students with support needs in mental health to connect to school
48Some implications www.agca.com.au An effective pastoral care system for everyone frees the resources needed for specific support staff to focus their time & effort on students who need it
49Students value Realistic expectations about rules and requirements More chance to choose their staff mentors & advisorsApproaches where students are supporting studentsRealistic expectations about rules and requirementsOpportunities to learn with their friends
50Students value www.agca.com.au Being consulted & sharing in decision making about their learning & the nature & timing of supportHaving someone who knows what’s going on for themClean facilities
51What did we learn about helping students connect? A school can build its capacity to help students with support needs to connect to schoolHelps learning, mental health and wellbeingPromotes health and wellbeing for students and staff
52Last words www.agca.com.au “A boy has been sent home today & comes back tomorrow for a hearing to sort it out but it will be a new day - teachers don’t hold grudges…kids comment on it all the time…it is a new day, a new start…it is very important.” Sandy
53Last words www.agca.com.au “When you’ve got five people beside you smiling, the one that’s not smiling is going to have to think ‘what’s going on’ & that’s when we invite them on board. Enthusiasm becomes contagious.” Liam
54Last words www.agca.com.au “When students are connected – the main thing is a caring environment…It’s the kids listening to each other, the teachers listening to the kids & acting on the issues & calling …the small issues before they become big issues.” Ken