Beyond Blue launches new MindMatters initiative to improve mental health in Australian secondary schools

4 May 2015

Please note: This media release refers to a program that has since been replaced by an online mental health professional learning platform called Be You. This change has occurred in response to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programs and Services review that existing child mental health services should consolidate into a single integrated end-to-end early learning service and school-based mental health initiative.

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

To find out more visit the Be You

Beyond Blue has launched the redevelopment of the MindMatters initiative, which will provide secondary school staff with online resources and personal support to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of students.

The new redesigned, evidence-informed MindMatters program was launched as a new Beyond Blue survey of teachers and principals found that one in five said they were not confident handling mental health issues in their students.

Less than half of the 600 teachers and principals questioned by independent social research agency, TNS Social Research, agreed that it was easy to find training tools that help staff address the mental health of their students

About 50 per cent also said the demands of teaching meant they didn’t have time to attend to the mental health needs of their students.

The Commonwealth Government, Department of Health provided funding to Beyond Blue to redevelop the MindMatters framework and work with the Principals Australia Institute to sign up 1,500 schools across Australia over the next three years.

Beyond Blue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said the new MindMatters initiative enables secondary schools to make mental health and wellbeing a priority, by giving them online training, which is manageable for teachers who are already time-poor, and accessible easy-to-implement strategies.

“MindMatters is like a support scaffold that secondary schools can use to create their own unique mental health strategy – choosing the parts that they wish to implement and keeping the best of what they already have in place,” he said.

“The new MindMatters program is in line with recommendations from the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programs and Services, which advocated for prevention and early intervention programs.”

Beyond Blue Board Director The Hon. Julia Gillard said the MindMatters initiative was based on the principle that the best mental health strategy is one that prevents issues from arising in the first place.

“I am very pleased to join Jeff in launching this contemporary program which has been developed in close collaboration with the education sector and the mental health sector. Working with schools to improve the awareness and engagement skills of teachers and other professionals in our schools in addressing mental health issues, will help protect mental health for younger Australians from all walks of life,” she said.

“Evidence suggests half of mental health conditions emerge by age 14, so this work with impressionable young people in the school environment is vitally important.”

The four key components of the MindMatters mental health framework are: Positive School Community; Student Skills for Resilience; Parents and Families; Support for students experiencing mental health difficulties.

MindMatters fosters a whole school approach that takes a big picture view where everyone – staff, students, parents and service providers – has a part to play in shaping the school culture through their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours around mental health.




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