Thousands of specialist staff are supporting the wellbeing and mental health of school communities during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Nationals Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Government has been prioritising the mental health of students by ramping up wellbeing support.
“We know how difficult the last 18 months have been for our students, which is why there are more than 3,000 non-teaching staff available – including school counsellors, school psychologists, student support officers and a network of specialist facilitators, wellbeing nurses, school chaplains and school learning support officers – to make sure children feel as supported as possible while they learn from home,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We also continue to work closely alongside key mental health organisations such as headspace, Reach Out, Kids Helpline and the Black Dog Institute to provide evidence-based resources to our staff and students.”
Schools across the state are running workshops, “wellbeing days” and events to help students look after themselves and each other.
Nationals Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the holistic approach was designed to help students stay mentally fit and build resilience during tough times.
“This is all about empowering families with the tools they need to look out for each other, especially during this challenging time of home schooling,” Mrs Taylor said.
“These resources have been developed with leading youth mental health organisations to ensure we are equipping parents, carers, teachers and children with the confidence and knowledge of when and where to seek help if they are feeling overwhelmed or particularly stressed out.”
Ms Mitchell added the mental health and wellbeing of school staff during the remote learning period was also paramount.
“Our teachers, leaders and school staff have done a tremendous job during this difficult period, and the NSW Government has implemented a specialised mental health program called ‘Being Well’ to support our educators.
“The ‘Being Well’ program is running workshops for staff to learn how to spot the signs of struggle amongst colleagues and find methods of improving their own mental health along the way.
“We have also introduced a series of ‘wellbeing check ins’ for staff to connect and share ideas on sustaining their wellbeing with colleagues and wellbeing coaches.”
The Care and Connect Hub also continues to provide practical and targeted support by age group – from pre-school to end of high school – with information and guidance on how and what students, families and staff can do to take care of themselves and others.
For more information visit education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/learning-from-home/wellbeing/wellbeing-at-home