Mentally Healthy School in Profile: Kalamunda Senior High School

04/11/2019

Mental health issues have become prevalent in the lives of teenagers over the past decade, and as a high school, we believed it was important to find ways to increase the positive health of our students.

By joining the Mentally Healthy Schools Program, Kalamunda Senior High School endeavoured to minimise the number of students who were presenting to student services with mental health problems.

Since becoming involved in the Act-Belong-Commit campaign, we have provided staff with professional development around keeping mentally healthy using the Act-Belong-Commit framework, which has allowed them to examine their own behaviours and look at areas they could improve on to assist in keeping themselves mentally healthy. The school also has utilised the Act-Belong-Commit Youth Connectors workshops to provide peer support to each other in times of need.

Events such as musical performances and drama productions are branded with Act-Belong-Commit to demonstrate to the school community that being involved in such events is one way to stay mentally healthy, and we have run a number of mental health expos and mental health weeks allowing the message to be delivered to our students. Events such as the Blackwood Marathon, swimming and athletics carnivals are also linked to the campaign and demonstrate that physical activity is important for your mental health.

The Act-Belong-Commit message is a simple but effective way to increase positive mental health and help prevent poor mental health outcomes in our students.

We have included tips on staying mentally healthy in school newsletters over the past few years, providing parents with ways to help not only their children, but also themselves to stay mentally healthy. Act-Belong-Commit templates for local newspapers have been utilised to provide the broader community information regarding the Act-Belong-Commit message.

Act-Belong-Commit has provided the Student Services team with a tool to discuss ways students can easily look after their own mental health and stay mentally healthy. Tools such as weekly planner allow conversations with students to be channeled into discussing ways of helping to stay mentally healthy using the Act-Belong-Commit framework.

Act-Belong-Commit is an ongoing inclusion in our school, and although we have annual projects we endeavour to keep the message at the forefront of our values. The Act-Belong-Commit message further compliments one of our school values of ‘Community’, highlighting the importance of helping others.

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.

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