Mentally Healthy School in Profile: Clarkson Primary School
Clarkson Primary School recognised the need to engage in conversations with students about mental health, as well as practical ways to become more mentally healthy. The Act-Belong-Commit framework provided the tools, language and well-known branding to do this well.
By becoming a Mentally Healthy School, we were inspired to start an annual Mental Health Week event at Clarkson Primary School, joining other schools around the nation for ‘Mental Health Week’ held in October each year.
We formed an ‘Act-Belong-Committee’ of dedicated staff who took up the mantle of organising Mental Health Week, consisting of in-class lessons on mental health, whole school activities and organised lunch-time activities.
Each activity provided the opportunity to teach students practical ways of becoming more mentally healthy and for children to be able to implement strategies to look after their own mental health – strategies our students will be able to carry throughout primary school, their teen years and even into adulthood. By providing inspiration, support, signage and merchandise, the Act-Belong-Commit team helped to make our Mental Health Week a success. Several businesses and organisations also supported us during the week, offering to donate goods, run activities or provide information about their services.
We have expanded our scope for Mental Health Week, and in the future will likely be engaging with an organisation to provide in-class lessons to our Year 6’s on increasing the understanding of the impact of mental illness, as well as fostering support for children who live with a parent with mental illness.
“ Our vision for seeing our school become more mentally healthy is coming to life. We see our students becoming more aware of their emotions and mental wellbeing.”
We are also continuing to encourage our teachers and parents to have conversations with their children about how to manage their emotions as well as exploring ways to promote mental health and wellbeing. We are hopeful that the Mentally Healthy Schools Program will continue to enable schools like ours to continue towards building a more mentally healthy community.
Any primary or secondary school in Western Australia can partner with us to promote the Act-Belong-Commit message. To find out more about the program or how your school can become more mentally healthy, get in touch.