Mentally Healthy School in Profile: Cooinda Primary School
All communities can benefit from the promotion of the Act-Belong-Commit message, simply by raising awareness of the importance of mental health and providing ideas and opportunities about how to achieve this.
At Cooinda Primary School, we saw the Act-Belong-Commit Mentally Healthy Schools Program as a great way to complement and enhance the mental health initiatives already implemented in our school and wider community. The Act-Belong-Commit message brought a new approach and vigor to good mental health promotion at Cooinda, whilst sitting perfectly under the KidsMatter umbrella.
With the aim to nurture the mental health of our students, each year we nominate a group of senior students to fulfill a leadership role titled the ‘Act-Belong ’Committers’. This provides them with the opportunity to develop their sense of belonging and commitment. We provide additional recognition to students at our assemblies, where we present an award to a student or school party who has demonstrated act, belong or commit qualities. We have also provided our students with cultural activities supporting inclusion and belonging, along with new fixtures in the school supporting good mental health, which the whole school community and visitors can enjoy.
We regularly invite school staff to take a break from our fast-paced work environment to recharge and relax at gatherings promoting kindness and paying it forward in association with the Act-Belong-Commit message.
Our partnership with Act-Belong-Commit has provided new life to our existing efforts to support good mental health in our school. It has also provided our school with many contacts we can continue to liaise and connect with.
In liaison with community agencies and local businesses, we developed and built an R U OK? Conversation Corner at our school. We created Act-Belong-Commit signs, which we installed in the corner to encourage school community members to use the area to connect, chat and have fun. We also encourage our volunteers to use this area, as we felt it was tranquil and good for the soul!
The regular information our school has received in regards to mental health promotion and opportunities has been highly valued, and having signage around the school promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message continues to add extra support to the promotion of being mentally healthy.
Since becoming a Mentally Healthy School, we have developed tangible and intangible opportunities and creations, which have assisted the mental health of our school community. All of these opportunities have been advantageous in our outcomes and made possible the positive growth in our Act-Belong-Commit.
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, contact Phoebe Joyce firstname.lastname@example.org.