The following links are provided in good faith. KidsMatter does not necessarily endorse all views and content within the following sites.
KidsMatter Primary partners
Australian Government Department of Health: Mental Health
This website helps you to find information on the Australian Government's role and contributions to mental health reform activities in Australia. There are statistics, publications, policy and program documents, and a section on child and youth health. The Department of Health administers and funds a number of mental health programs including KidsMatter Primary.
A national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to raise community awareness and reduce stigma about depression, anxiety and related disorders. beyondblue works in partnership with schools and other organisations, and has funded initiatives such as KidsMatter Primary. Its website contains downloadable resources, newsletters, symptom checklists, research publications and links for consumers and carers.
beyondblue has a separate website for young people: Youth Beyondblue which has information on depression and anxiety, fact sheets, stories, and links to help services.
Relevant international sites
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning: CASEL
An American not-for-profit organisation that works to advance the science and evidence-based practice of social and emotional learning (SEL). Their website has a comprehensive range of articles and resources relating to SEL, definitions of SEL, explanations of its benefits, information about issues such as bullying, FAQs, professional development resources for teachers, and tools for families. Their publication Safe and sound: An educational leaders’ guide to evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) Programs can be downloaded from the site.
WHO: World Health Organization
The coordinating authority for health within the United Nations and is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters. Their website has a mental health section and pages devoted to school and youth health. The site provides access to a review of international research on the health promoting schools model.
Key Australian frameworks
National Safe Schools Framework
The National Safe Schools Framework was developed to provide schools with a set of guiding principles to help them meet community expectations of a safe and supportive school community. The Framework is supported by all Australian Education Ministers and education authorities.
AHPSA: Australian Health Promoting Schools Association
The Association promotes the concept of health promoting schools and supports schools to adopt a broad view of health. It has developed a National Framework for Health Promoting Schools 2000 - 2003. Their website includes a link to Queensland’s Health Promoting Schools Toolbox which aims to provide school communities with an understanding of the health promoting schools approach and practical ideas and tools for implementing it in your own school.
Australian mental health organisations that include a focus on children
Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association
The association’s aim is to actively promote the mental health and wellbeing of infants, children, adolescents and their families and/or carers in Australia. The website includes research reports, position papers, literature reviews and fact sheets.
Carers Australia is the national peak body that advocates on behalf of Australia’s unpaid carers to influence policies, programs and services. It also manages a range of national programs that support unpaid carers in their caring role. The website includes information and resources about Young Carers who provide care to a family member or friend with an illness, disability, mental health issue, alcohol or other drug problem or who is frail aged. There is a separate young carer’s website with information for teachers and a downloadable young carer education resource aimed at raising the awareness of teachers and other school staff about young carers.
Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI)
COPMI aims to promotes better mental health outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness and reduce stigma about mental illness. Through its website it provides information for children and young people, parents, their partners, carers, family and friends and also provides training and other resources for teachers and support staff. There is information about the affect of parental mental illness on students’ school participation and advice about you can help. Programs and services are listed by state. and resources by age group. There are also sections for kids and teens with videos and easy to read, reassuring key messages aimed at reducing shame and embarrassment and suggesting coping strategies.
A national charity conducting programs and campaigns to improve the lives of people living with mental illness, their family and friends. It operates a helpline and website. There are downloadable facts sheets and MP3s on a range of mental health problems and related issues. Sane Australia also hosts a youth site on mental illness which is aimed at young people with a friend or family member who has a mental illness. There are fact sheets, a helpline, referral contacts, stories and fun stuff like ecards and wallpaper.
Siblings Australia is a national organisation committed to enhancing the wellbeing of siblings of children and adults with special needs, including disabilities, chronic illness and mental health issues. The website has a page for teachers and other school staff to help them understand the issues for siblings and how they can be helped in a school setting. Whole of school approaches and individual teacher roles are included as downloads.
Supporting Kids in Primary Schools (SKIPS)
SKIPS is a unique program that helps primary schools understand and support children and families when a parent suffers mental illness.
Mental health and wellbeing educational information and strategies
Embrace the Future
A project of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia. It is designed to educate young people in strategies and skills which promote and sustain resiliency and positive mental health. The website includes a Resiliency Resource Centre, a Kids’ site and a Youth site. The Resource Centre provides an overview of current research in the area of resiliency, information about what makes a child resilient, detailed ideas for teachers about how to develop programs that help to create resilient children, tips for parents, and information for schools about how to implement resiliency-promoting policies and practices. This site is linked to the Embrace the Future Kids' Site, which offers resiliency information, games and other resources for primary-age children.
Festival for Healthy Living (FHL)
The FHL program is a collaborative strategy developed to promote mental health and emotional wellbeing in primary and secondary schools and their communities through a range of performing and visual arts workshop techniques. Students develop solution-focused performance pieces, artwork, multimedia and written work facilitated by their teachers in partnership with professional performing artists. The website includes stories from schools that have participated and suggestions for how you can run a festival in your area.
Reach Out Pro
A partner service of ReachOut.com, provides a space for young people and professionals to connect and create resources for better mental health care and support. Here you will find information about communications technologies and social media and how to use them to support young people; reviews of current online services and interventions like ReachOut.com, MoodGym, and eCouch; interviews with mental health experts on their work; teaching resources and lesson ideas; and the Reach Out Teachers Network which gives you access to self-paced online training on youth mental health and wellbeing.
An initiative of the Australian Government implemented by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health. Its website has an education and children’s services section that aims to provide information and strategies that will help teachers to respond more effectively to mental health issues affecting the children and young people they teach. Resources include A Teacher’s Guide To Social and Emotional Wellbeing which has a chart: ‘What Should I Look For?’, describing a number of behavioural characteristics, social issues, family situations and other events or signs which may indicate that students may need additional support for their mental health and wellbeing.
Student Wellbeing Action Partnership (SWAP)
A training and research partnership between Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education and the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne. The focus is on building capacity and confidence in teachers and school leaders to implement whole-school approaches to student wellbeing with a focus on school improvement, resilience, and enhanced learning outcomes. Teachers are sponsored to undertake the School's postgraduate courses in student wellbeing. The website includes information, research, interviews and examples of how an emphasis on student wellbeing has been incorporated into a variety of school situations.
Specific mental health and wellbeing issues
After the Emergency
This resource developed by Red Cross Australia adopts a holistic and all-hazards approach to emergency recovery. The website and mp3s provide resources for young people (aged 12-25 years) affected by disasters such as bush fires, storms and floods. There are links to a suite of materials for use in Australian schools.
Asthma Australia’s mission is to work in partnerships to help people with asthma and linked conditions breathe better. The organisation aims to: get the best services to the most people for the least cost, keep asthma on the health policy and services agenda, and support research to free the community of asthma.
Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network
Located at the Australian National University, ACATLGN aims to promote understanding of child and adolescent trauma, loss and grief. You can use the network to access best available information, resources and education/training opportunities. It also provides an online forum for communication and sharing of information and expertise among professionals and community workers, as well as people involved in research, policy, education and training and other interested members of the community.
Black Dog Institute
A not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder. Their website has a section on youth programs with a downloadable curriculum resource (HeadStrong) for teachers and other youth workers, and information about upcoming presentations for parents, professionals and students.
Bullying. No Way!
This site was developed by Australian education authorities, working together to create learning environments where every student and school community member is safe, supported, respected, valued – and free from bullying. The website has navigation paths for parents, students and teachers, and there are separate sections for adolescents and for children younger than 13, with information, tips and advice, interactive videos and fun activities, and a downloadable iphone app Taking a Stand Together.
Managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Cybersmart’s website has a range of free resources designed to help children and whole families find out how to use the internet safely. The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of children, young people, parents, teachers and library staff. It includes: outreach and online professional development for educators, a pre-service program for trainee teachers, internet safety presentations in metropolitan and regional centres, interactive learning programs for young people, and an online and telephone helpline.
Racism, No way!
An Australian anti-racism education initiative managed by the NSW Department of Education and Training on behalf of education systems nationally. Its website includes information about racism, including cyber racism; teaching resources for years K-3 and Years 4-12; links to online anti-racism and cultural diversity activities; and an archive of information about school initiatives.
Mental health programs and websites aimed mainly at children and young people
BlackDog BITE BACK
A new and evolving website which aims to improve the wellbeing and mental fitness of young people, based on the principles of positive psychology – the science of optimal functioning. On this website 12-18 year olds can discover ways to amplify the good stuff in life with specially designed online activities and quizzes that can give members feedback and track progress over time. They can anonymously share real stories, read up on important issues and news, check out videos, blogs and interviews of interesting people, and enter fun competitions.
The National Youth Mental Health Foundation, helping young people aged 12 to 25 who are going through a tough time. There are contact details for headspace centres throughout Australia. Their website has pages for young people, parents, carers, and professionals who work with young people. There is information about common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and stories, blogs, and related links.
This site is for children and young people aged 6-18, their families, friends, and professionals working to support them. It includes information on mental health and wellbeing topics such as bullying, stress, body image, conflict, peer pressure, self esteem, problem solving and friendship. There are links to local services and programs, and useful information for teachers and other professionals. There are also downloadable pamphlets written for children and young people, on a range of topics.
Reach Out!’s website is aimed at young people experiencing tough times and mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying and relationship issues. It has fact sheets, stories, videos, a blog and a forum, and can provide daily SMS tips.
Act Belong Commit
A community based health promotion campaign that encourages individuals to take action to protect and promote their own mental wellbeing and encourages organisations to promote participation in mentally healthy activities. The website has a youth section with resources aimed at children and youth. There are booklets, fact sheets, quizzes, competitions, and comics providing easy to use information about mental health and wellbeing.
A free, private and confidential, 24 hour counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. Counselling is offered by phone, email and online. Counsellors respond to issues ranging from relationship breakdowns and bullying, to sexual abuse, homelessness, suicidal thoughts, and drug and alcohol use. The service aims to empower young people by providing information on local support services and assisting them to develop options, understand consequences and have more productive relationships with family and friends.
Kids in Mind
Run by Mater Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS), Brisbane, Kids in Mind provides specialist assessment and treatment services for infants, children, adolescents and their families who experience significant emotional and/or behavioural difficulties. The website includes information about CYMHS clinics, events for parents, training and professional development opportunities, information for kids including their Kidz Club, and details of the Kids in Mind research.
Lifeline is a not-for-profit organisation providing access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services. Lifeline also provides national services and campaigns that promote emotional wellbeing, encourage help seeking, and address suicide prevention and awareness. Their website has fact sheets and toolkits and includes issues relevant to children and young people. Lifeline offers online support and has a 24 hour telephone helpline.
STTARS: Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service
Located in Adelaide, it is a non-government, not for profit organisation. STTARS assists people from a refugee and migrant background who have experienced torture or been traumatised as a result of persecution, violence, war or unlawful imprisonment prior to arrival in Australia. It provides counselling and advocacy and has a Child and Youth Program that works in schools and with families to support children and young people who are survivors of torture and trauma. One of the free resources on the site is Raising Children in Australia, which includes a DVD and a booklet.
Parent and family sites
Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO)
The peak national organisation representing the interests of the parents, families and school communities of more than two million children attending government schools throughout Australia.
The Family-School & Community Partnerships Bureau
The organisation has been set up to help Australian schools, families and communities build sustainable, collaborative, productive relationships. Their Family-schools partnership framework: A guide for schools and families contains principles and a set of strategies to guide schools in implementing and fostering family-school partnerships. A recent paper is: Jennings, K & Bosch, C (2011) Parent engagement in children’s education.
Parenting Research Centre
An independent non-profit research and development organisation with an exclusive focus on gathering information about parenting and developing practical programs to help parents raise happy healthy children. The website includes research publications and downloadable parenting resources for dads and single mothers. One of their programs is AusParenting in Schools, a school-based parenting and family support strategy that promotes children's wellbeing and resilience by building stronger family-school partnerships.
Research organisations and information networks
ACER: Australian Council for Educational Research
An independent, non-profit organisation which creates and disseminates knowledge and tools to improve learning. This includes assistance for educational decision makers with reliable data gathering and interpretation and the promotion of better student outcomes through evidence-based effective approaches.
ARACY: Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
A national non-profit organisation working to improve the wellbeing of children and young people, by advancing collaboration and evidence-based action. ARACY builds and supports collaborations of researchers, policy makers and practitioners across disciplines, to share knowledge and foster new ways of thinking and working. The Nest is a project
Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet
The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet makes comprehensive, up-to-date information accessible to people interested in the health of Indigenous Australians. Its resources include health promotion resources, information about training, courses, conferences and events, an electronic network (yarning place) and a comprehensive list of Indigenous health programs and projects in every state and territory. There are sections on protective and risk factors, social and emotional wellbeing, and infants, young children and adolescents.
The Nest is an ambitious project to shape a better future for all young Australians (0-24 years) by building a national plan for coordinated action. The Nest is undertaking an evidence review and public consultation to highlight what works to improve outcomes for children and youth. A National Summit will be held in Melbourne on 23 November 2012 to agree on a comprehensive plan.