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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.

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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:

1 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 material.

2 What helps students in mental health & wellbeing connect to school? Perspectives from students & staff in the context of MindMatters

3 What helps students with support needs in mental health & wellbeing connect to school? Section A: new learnings from MindMatters Plus Introduction to

4 MindMatters Plus Aimed to build upon the capacity of schools to improve outcomes in mental health and wellbeing 17 demonstration schools

5 Learnings to strengthen MindMatters resources & professional development from the perspective of students with support needs in mental health and wellbeing MindMatters Plus

6 What do we need from schools? We need precision with individual students with additional and specific needs We 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)

7 Connection An established protective factor for health & education for young people Likely to be more significant for students with support needs to school

8 MindMatters Plus - an opportunity to learn more 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? Reflecting on connecting

9 Section B: Perspectives from students What helps students with support needs in mental health & wellbeing connect to school?

10 Study 1: Student voices about school engagement 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 2005 Therefore titled Unheard Voices

11 Messages from young people I only look forward to seeing my mates really. 1. Build & maintain strong relationships We gave the teacher respect from the start because he respected & understood us too.

12 Messages from young people 1. Build & maintain strong relationships I was lucky to have a great school counsellor 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.

13 Messages 2. Be informed: Mental health literacy helps students with problems, staff & peers from young people

14 Messages from young people 2. We needed more people knowing what it was, noticing the signs & making you more aware of this kind of illness because I didnt 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.

15 Sometimes the teachers expect me to be able to concentrate when at times its difficult. 2. Be informed: Mental health literacy helps students with problems, staff & peers Messages from young people

16 It doesnt need to be fun all the time, not fun, just worthwhile. 3. Understand the importance of teaching & learning to students Messages from young people She helps you with your ideas. She helps you make your ideas matter if that makes sense …

17 3. Understand the importance of teaching & learning to students Messages from young people If youre enjoying something youre doing, then maybe youll be more eager to do it more.

18 4. Avoid stigma Messages from young people I think its good that most teachers here recognise everyones originality & personality… So were not all put in together.

19 4. Avoid stigma Messages from young people 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.

20 5. Involve students strongly in decision making & give them control I wanted everyone to stop organising my life for me. Messages from young people Its nice to have a teacher who trusts you to do something on your own.

21 5. Involve students strongly in decision making & give them control Messages from young people The school is helpful by making sure Im OK with everything at school. Be sensitive to my needs as an individual. Treat me fairly – my needs may be different to others.

22 Messages from young people 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

23 Messages from young people 6. Understand the whole person Its good when they know what youre having to deal with at home – what happens before you get to school each day.

24 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 Messages from young people

25 Messages from young people 7. The flexibility of this school makes a real difference. I have a young child, so the teachers dont mind if I miss assembly or have to take time off if she is sick. Its hard to find a school that doesnt 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.

26 Section C: Perspective from Staff What helps students with support needs in mental health & wellbeing connect to school?

27 Study 2: about connection to school Staff interviews 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?

28 Dynamic process influenced by factors within the individual, the school & the family Important in the stabilisation of students experiencing problems What connection to school? is

29 Often more complex for students with support needs Social connection through 1:1 relationships between the student & a peer or staff member is very important What connection to school? is

30 Staff beliefs Connection is the basis for engagement in further activities & learning

31 Staff beliefs …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

32 Staff beliefs Shared belief : A positive welcoming school community where there is mutual respect & care between people, is a platform for connection for ALL students & staff

33 Staff beliefs 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

34 Staff beliefs Students connect with different aspects of school the identity of school the physical place a place for personal & social relationships a place to contribute, learn & be recognised a caring safe place

35 Strong leadership Diverse staff work well as a team & are supported The climate & curriculum in the school is open & responsive to the real lives & aspirations of students Elements school community of the positive, welcoming

36 Safety is the bottom line for everybody Pastoral care makes sure everyone is known There are many opportunities to shine & develop identity There is a valuing of relationship building, including through a range of informal activities Elements school community of the positive, welcoming

37 Reach out to your students with high mental health support needs Making people connections is a key Involve particular staff in the specific task of reaching out to students with high mental health support needs Nurture strong collegial support amongst these staff

38 Provide multiple points of contact for students with high mental health support needs Actively seek to build bridges for individuals from first meeting Making people connections is a key

39 Search for a hook Close the distance between staff & students Help kids feel normal Add extra structure to help the students succeed Making people connections is a key Share these tips

40 Making people connections is a key Share these tips Promote a sense that school can be like a home & family in some ways Be upfront about confidentiality Be prepared to persist

41 Section D: views for school practice What helps students with support needs in mental health & wellbeing connect to school? Implications of student and staff

42 A positive, welcoming school community is a great platform Caring, mutually respectful relationships across the school are important for connection to school Students and Staff agree

43 Students and Staff agree One positive relationship is a great start Connection (for students & staff) is dependent on feeling safe and valued

44 The whole lives of students experiencing problems are particularly relevant to their experience of school Students and Staff agree

45 Improving mental health literacy amongst staff & peers helps students & staff Relevant curriculum is important & needs to be assessed appropriately Students and Staff agree

46 Decision making & control for themselves at school Avoiding stigma Confidentiality Students placed more stress on these Test: How well does this school affirm diversity every day & deal with bullying, harassment & violence?

47 Likely benefits in a particular focus on helping students with support needs in mental health to connect to school Some implications

48 Some implications 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

49 Students value More chance to choose their staff mentors & advisors Approaches where students are supporting students Realistic expectations about rules and requirements Opportunities to learn with their friends

50 Students value Being consulted & sharing in decision making about their learning & the nature & timing of support Having someone who knows whats going on for them Clean facilities

51 What did we learn about helping students connect? A school can build its capacity to help students with support needs to connect to school Helps learning, mental health and wellbeing Promotes health and wellbeing for students and staff

52 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 dont hold grudges …kids comment on it all the time… it is a new day, a new start …it is very important. Sandy Last words

53 When youve got five people beside you smiling, the one thats not smiling is going to have to think whats going on & thats when we invite them on board. Enthusiasm becomes contagious. Liam Last words

54 When students are connected – the main thing is a caring environment…Its 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 Last words


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