KidsMatter update: transitioning to 'Be You'
KidsMatter was a national initiative for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in Primary Schools. NCS joined this initiative halfway through 2014. The KidsMatter Action Team has worked hard to oversee the implementation of this initiative at NCS.
The Federal Government has established a new initiative called ‘Be You’ to take the place of KidsMatter and other school-based mental health initiatives. Please visit the Be You website for more details and access to a wealth of great resources. Throughout the years the KidsMatter Action Team has been in existence, the team undertook training and then provided professional development to our staff. We have had some fantastic achievements over the past 4 years, including: the introduction of Stress Less/ Resilience days, the Buddy Bench, class belonging posters 'Every face has a place', the adoption and implementation of the 'Second Step' SEL program, advocating for the employment of specialist counselling staff, and growing our capacity for collaborative partnerships between school and home. One highlight has been the development of a partnership with Anglicare which resulted in a number of excellent seminars and workshops on aspects of growing positive mental health.
Integral to all of this was the recognition that building positive mental health and wellbeing for every person in our school community is vital to supporting overall health and flourishing. We have been privileged to serve our NCS Primary community through this work. Although you may not have heard much about KidsMatter this year, we have still been at work, and in particular have been awaiting the changes just announced. Here's what has been in the pipeline, and the result... The National Mental Health Commission Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services Report of 2014 found that there were multiple initiatives promoting social and emotional health and wellbeing for children and young people across education settings. These Australian Government funded programs included: Response Ability, KidsMatter Early Childhood, KidsMatter Primary, MindMatters, and Headspace School Support.
The decision was made by Federal Government to integrate these services into one single program. 'Be You' is the new national initiative launched on November 1, 2018.
So - what does this mean for NCS?
Well, KidsMatter has now transitioned to 'Be You', and therefore the KidsMatter Action Team has concluded its role. The current members - staff Robyn Poulden, Emily Thuaux, Paul McLennan, Jane Donald, and parents Amy Davey (Team Leader), Amy Weissel & Mick Finlay have celebrated their hard work with a special afternoon tea, and are thrilled to reflect on the successful KidsMatter journey for NCS which we have been a part of.
Now the NCS Wellbeing Team will prayerfully consider our ongoing involvement with the new Be You initiative and develop a plan for the continuing work of building and enhancing positive mental health and wellbeing throughout our school community.