Monash University researchers are set to deliver Australia’s first mental health literacy and action program in Australians schools.
The program, which seeks to address the mental health and wellbeing needs of young people, has reportedly been adapted for Australians schools as a preventative approach to increase knowledge of mental health in the classroom and develop coping mechanisms for students, such as help-seeking skills and resilience.
“Not only are we in a global pandemic, but we are also in a mental health pandemic,” says Alexandrea Marinucci, a PhD candidate who is leading the program evaluation as part of her doctoral dissertation and who will work alongside other provisional psychologists tot deliver the program.
“It is critical we shift our focus to preventative approaches to mental health care and support through early intervention and increasing mental health literacy of our population.
“We want to introduce a structured program and collaborate with schools to focus on mental health literacy and action. We want to make this program feasible, relevant and sustainable, so it can be implemented widely in the future.”
The evidenced-based, 10-session prevention program also aims to include school staff in providing insight into effectively supporting childhood mental health.
“Sometimes the internet does not provide accurate or age-appropriate information and so we want to give young people correct and practical information, also strategies to support their mental health that could benefit them now and into the future,” says Ms Marinucci.
“Given the increased levels of distress experienced by young people exacerbated by Covid-19, we are in a critical moment to shift our focus to a preventative approach that directly promotes positive youth mental health.
“Evidenced-based school programs surrounding mental health for youth are lacking and this project seeks to change that.”
Schools wishing to take part in this program are encouraged to contact Ms Marinucci (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Christine Grove (email@example.com) directly.