Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 2 June 2022) . . Page.. 1670 ..
(3) Has the Government ever provided funding for Mental Illness Education ACT’s (MIEACT) program for 8-12 year olds called Thriving Minds: Empowered Futures; if so, can the Minister provide details (eg, how much funding, for how many schools/students).
(4) Is the Government currently funding the Thriving Minds: Empowered Futures program; if not, why not.
(5) What is the Government’s response to the ANU evaluation in 2020 of this MIEACT mental health program.
(6) Does the Government believe mental health programs should be provided in primary schools.
(7) What has been the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of primary school children.
(8) Does the pandemic’s impact on the mental health of primary school children provide further reason why mental health programs are needed in primary schools.
(9) Has the Minister received any correspondence from schools, teachers, parents or any organisations about providing mental health programs in primary schools.
(10) What is the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing doing about providing mental health programs in government primary schools.
(11) What research has been done about the current state of mental health of children aged 8 to 12 years old and is the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing doing any work in this area; if so, can the Minister provide details.
Ms Davidson: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
1) ACT public schools provide mental health education through a range of programs, including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs. SEL is an essential component of student mental health and wellness, cultivating important protective factors to buffer against mental health risks. SEL is a part of the Australian Curriculum, taught in ACT public schools, which develops students’ knowledge and skills to understand themselves and others, manage emotions, maintain positive relationships, and set and achieve positive goals. Schools select programs that are best suited to meet the needs of their students.
The ACT Education Directorate (the Directorate) promotes the national mental health in education initiative Be You, delivered by Beyond Blue, in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace. Be You provides professional learning, tools, resources, programs register, advice and support that is evidence based to educators. The Education Directorate supports schools in selecting SEL programs for delivery within schools that meet the specific needs of that school community.
The Directorate’s Psychology Service offers the services of an Early Intervention Team that delivers group programs to young people in secondary schools. 2021 programs included: For students - Chilled Skills, ACT with HeART, and Flexible Minds. For parents - Overcoming Anxious School Refusal, and Boundaries Without Conflict. Additionally, the Directorate’s Psychology team also provides targeted programs for students, staff and parents including e.g. Youth Aware Mental Health (YAM) which is for students.