Why is mental health inmportant at school? (video transcript)
Speaker Dialogue

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Why is mental health important at school?

Student 1

Being mentally healthy helps me at school so I can get on with my day and be confident in what I’m doing and give it a go.

Paul  (Teacher, St Marks Fawkner Catholic School, VIC)

The students’ mental health has a huge bearing on the way they perform at school. We’re all aware of the notion of having a bad day and how that can make you feel and we use that as justification so it’s the same with kids, if they’re having a bad day, they’re not going to perform.  And if they’re having a bad week, or month or year, they’re gonna have a bad week or month or year so it’s our job to try and turn that around and make sure they’re happy to be here, that they’re comfortable and they want to learn.

Associate Professor Helen Cahill

Schools have got a really strong role to play in promoting positive mental health and development in children and this is because they are the place where people gather and this is the richest opportunity that children will have to develop their social health. And social health is a really important part of mental health in childhood. So this is where children learn to turn take and share and participate with other people. It’s also where they’re engaged overtly in learning, deliberate learning. And we know that children whose mental health is in a good state are more able to persist in learning. They have more energy to confront challenge, to work away at it and eventually gain mastery. And so there’s a natural overlap between engagement in learning and positive mental health, which of course is the other reason why schools are so interested in being actively supporters of positive mental health development in children.

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Children who are mentally healthy learn better and achieve more, are motivated, committed, have positive relationships and are better able to meet life’s challenges.