Another year is coming to a close and what a year it has been for WayAhead. This issue of the Mind Reader will look back at just some of the highlights from the year and there have been many for us in 2018. We have had the biggest Mental Health Month yet; we have travelled around NSW, as well as interstate and overseas to meet consumers, carers, workplaces and sector peers face-to-face; we have continued to build on our presence and profile; and we have reached more people than ever before.
Late last month, we held our Annual General Meeting where many joined us to hear about our work, nominate as board members and hear from our partner across the border, Mental Illness Education ACT. It shows the level of interest that people have been taking in our work, the interest in being involved as members and board directors and the strength of the relationships we have been building over the course of this year and the many years preceding it.
There are so many who have supported WayAhead’s work and contributed to this year’s successes. Staff, volunteers and board members have worked with dedication and a commitment to innovation and continuous improvement of our work.
From all here at WayAhead, best wishes for the holidays and into the 2019.
MIEACT has been working directly with its youth population when designing No Labels. 65% of the students they spoke to during the research and design phase said the current education on bullying was not representative and therefore not helpful for their experience.
Taking a behaviour-centred approach, focusing on three areas: participating, experiencing and witnessing, MIEACT found that mixing discussion with awareness building, and anonymous reporting and assessment created a very honest platform where participants could self-analyse their behaviour and disclose participation in bullying behaviour without fear of judgement or “labels” from their peers. With content and discussion driven directly by participants, 63% of the pilot group stated that the No Labels program represented their experience with bulling.
Since No Labels’ launch in early August, MIEACT has seen positive outcomes, measured by the use of formative assessment tool, Plickers, allowing our facilitators to capture responses and measure the content’s efficacy Live!
Some of the data captured to date reflects:
- There is a high need for support and strategies around bulling to be provided in Schools – 85.5% of students in No Labels sessions across the ACT are concerned about the occurrence of bullying on some level.
- The majority of participants have a great understanding about motivations for bullying, but are initially unable to articulate strategies for responding to or coping with bullying behaviour.
- Self-reported participation in bullying behaviour increased to 75% – an increase of self-awareness sitting at approximately 25% – and an overall average of 75% of participants in each session identifying as having participated in bullying behaviour.
- It has been pleasing to see the impact of honest conversations around bullying behaviour, and strategies to address this behaviour among all behaviour streams: participating, witnessing or experiencing with 84% of students indicating holding an increased confidence in implementing strategies to address bullying as a result of the session.
Around 1500 Year 9 and 10 students from around NSW came to Sydney Olympic Park to take part in the NSW Department of Education’s Guinness World Record-breaking largest mental health awareness lesson. The students were joined by more than 9000 others online through a livestream.
Kristen Douglas, headspace national manager, and Kim Harper, a PDHPE teacher from Sydney Secondary College, ran the lesson, which included clips from celebrities and politicians, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison. WayAhead joined several other organisations there on the day.
WayAhead joined in the festivities with a stall that students and teachers could visit after the lesson. Students could cast votes on which “Stress Less Tips” they liked best and “Laugh Each Day” was a clear winner. The selfie frames, carrying Mental Health Month 2018’s “Share A…” messages, were also a big hit, with many students gathering with groups of friends to take photos.