The beyondblue National Education Initiative

 
Learn more about the National Education Initiative from The Hon Julia Gillard AC, beyondblue Chair and Johanna Griggs, beyondblue Director and Chair of the National Education Initiative National Advisory Council.

A new, unified approach to mental health in education

In November 2018, beyondblue will launch a new National Education Initiative with delivery partners headspace and Early Childhood Australia, and with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

The National Education Initiative will transform Australia’s approach to child and youth mental health. It strives to give educators the skills they need to foster positive mental health, to help prevent mental health issues from arising, and to recognise and respond to mental health issues when they do occur.

It's a single, integrated national initiative to support children and young people from birth to 18, providing educators with online, evidence-based professional learning, tools and resources; a trained national workforce of consultants who provide advice and support to early learning services and schools; and an effective model for implementing whole-setting approaches – working collaboratively on targeted priorities will achieve meaningful, sustainable change.

The initiative will integrate and build on the strengths and evidence-based principles of key existing Commonwealth Government mental health initiatives being delivered in education settings.

These initiatives are:

Designed with educators in mind

The National Education Initiative has been designed with the workloads, daily pressures and complexities of the roles of educators in mind, and that’s why it’s free to participants and it’s flexible, enabling participants to progress at a pace determined by their unique needs and priorities. Plus, it’s designed to complement existing initiatives and assist learning communities with important priorities and standards.

A seamless handover

Educators can be assured that KidsMatter Early Childhood, KidsMatter Primary and MindMatters will continue to be available in their current form until the new initiative – which builds on the successes of these initiatives – launches later this year.

From January 2018, headspace facilitators have been delivering KidsMatter and MindMatters to primary and secondary schools, while Early Childhood Australia facilitators have been delivering KidsMatter Early Childhood. Early childhood services and schools are welcome and encouraged to join KidsMatter and MindMatters initiatives during the handover period.

For more information

beyondblue will continue to provide updates to this page with relevant information as it becomes available.

Enquiries about the new National Education Initiative should be directed to bbnei@beyondblue.org.au

Frequently asked questions

Why is this change happening?

The new National Education Initiative was announced in response to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programs and Services.

As per the recommendations from the review, existing child mental health services will consolidate into a single integrated end-to-end early learning service and school-based mental health initiative.

The program will integrate key existing Commonwealth Government mental health initiatives being delivered in education settings: Response Ability, KidsMatter Early Childhood and Primary, MindMatters, and headspace School Support.

Who is funding the new National Education Initiative?

This initiative is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. 

What content will be covered in the new National Education Initiative?

The evidence-based, online professional learning package will include individual professional learning, along with a wide range of tools, guides and information resources to support implementation and help early services and schools translate learning to their educational setting.

The professional learning consists of 13 modules grouped under five domain areas, with content centred around mentally healthy communities:

  • Mentally Healthy Communities – central to the framework, outlines what a mentally healthy community can look like, with modules outlining key concepts related to mental health, wellbeing, connectedness, relationships and diversity;
  • Family Partnerships – assists early learning services and schools to review and continuously improve their strategies for working with families to foster the mental health of children and young people;
  • Learning Resilience – provides educators with an in-depth understanding of social and emotional learning and why it is important for mental health and wellbeing;
  • Early Support – provides information and guidance on recognising behaviours which might indicate early signs of mental health issues, how to talk to children and young people about these issues, and how to provide appropriate and timely support;
  • Responding Together – aims to empower educators to act effectively to limit the impact of critical incidents, by recognising and understanding the possible impact on children and young people; and aims to encourage positive, timely and appropriate interventions in a normal, familiar setting.

What happens next?

beyondblue is currently establishing the new National Education Initiative.

Since being appointed by the Australian Government Department of Health to lead the National Education Initiative in June 2017, beyondblue has established governance structures, advisory groups and networks comprising over 400 advisors from Australia’s leading organisations to support the design, development and implementation of the initiative.

These groups bring together experts from across the country in education, mental health, suicide prevention, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, research and evaluation, behaviour change and implementation science. We’ve also engaged a wide range of education stakeholders including Australian Government and State/Territory Department of Education staff, peak bodies, professional associations, accreditation bodies, tertiary institutions and educational research organisations.

When will the new initiative be available in my school? 

In November 2018, the National Education Initiative will launch, integrating KidsMatter Early Childhood, KidsMatter Primary and MindMatters.

Until then, new early childhood services and schools are encouraged to join KidsMatter Early Childhood, KidsMatter Primary and MindMatters during the handover phase.

To help plan professional development, what will be available for my school in 2018?

KidsMatter Early Childhood, KidsMatter Primary and MindMatters will continue to be available through to late 2018. In November 2018, the National Education Initiative will be launched.

All early learning services and schools can be assured and confident that KidsMatter Early Childhood, KidsMatter Primary and MindMatters will be available until November 2018, and can continue to implement KidsMatter Primary, KidsMatter Early Childhood and MindMatters professional development and learning in their education settings.

Who will be involved in delivering on the ground support?

From January 2018, headspace facilitators have been delivering KidsMatter and MindMatters to primary and secondary schools and Early Childhood Australia facilitators have been delivering KidsMatter Early Childhood.

When the National Education Initiative launches, over 70 trained, dedicated consultants from Early Childhood Australia and headspace will play an integral role by supporting early learning services and schools through their National Education Initiative journey and helping them to design and implement a mentally healthy learning community action plan that’s aligned with existing planning processes and supports continuous improvement.

How can I/we get involved in the development and planning of the new initiative?

Join beyondblue’s Education Voices

We’re looking for school and early learning staff, and tertiary education students to help us build the best possible national mental health in education framework. If you’re a teacher, educator, principal, school counsellor, student teacher, or have any other role in a school or early learning service, we’d love to hear from you.

What’s involved?

We want your opinions, thoughts and ideas, and the benefit of your experience. You’ll have the opportunity to answer some questions we have and will also be able to review material before it’s published, to make sure we’ve got it right. We know your time is valuable, and we value it too. Your involvement can be as little or as much as you want it to be, and you can come and go at any time. You don’t need to have any experience in or knowledge of mental health.

To join

Please complete your details here and we’ll be in touch.

Will our learning community’s progress with KidsMatter and/or MindMatters be recognised in the new initiative?

Will existing accounts with KidsMatter be migrated over to the new initiative?

Early learning services and schools currently participating in KidsMatter will have the opportunity to migrate over to the National Education Initiative. Further information will be provided by the National Education Initiative team.

Will our learning community’s progress with KidsMatter be recognised in the new initiative?

Early learning services and schools that have completed more than 50 per cent of the KidsMatter framework will be recognised for their progress made and migrated over to the new National Education Initiative. Learning communities can get further information about their progress by contacting the NEI team: NEIteam@beyondblue.org.au.

Will existing accounts with MindMatters be migrated over to the new initiative?

Existing MindMatters accounts that have been active since 1 January 2018 will have the opportunity to migrate over to the new National Education Initiative. Further information will be provided to schools by the National Education Initiative team.

Will our learning community’s progress with MindMatters be recognised in the new initiative?

Progress that schools have made with MindMatters will not carry over to the new National Education Initiative.

Existing MindMatters accountholders are able to download certificates of professional learning module completion through their dashboard, for their records.

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