Aranda is a KidsMatter School
KidsMatter is a national mental health initiative specifically developed for Australian primary schools by the Australian Principals Associations Professional Development Council, the Australian Psychologial Society, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, beyond blue: the national depression initiative and is supported by the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund. (for further information link to KidsMatter.)
Students who are mentally healthy learn better and have better relationships with their teachers, family members and peers. Good mental health makes it easier for students to negotiate the transition into adolescence and then adulthood, improving their chances of achieving long-term education and career goals as well as a better quality of life. The KidsMatter Initiative has three major aims:
- Improve the mental health and well-being of primary students.
- Reduce mental health problems among students (e.g., anxiety, depression and behavioural problems).
- Achieve greater support for those students experiencing mental health problems.
With KidsMatter, schools develop and implement comprehensive plans for each of the four areas that protect students from developing mental health problems, these are:
- A positive school community: Schools identify how they can enhance their school climate to support student mental health and well-being, giving particular emphasis to ensuring that students, staff and parents feel 'connected' to each other and the broader school community
- Social and emotional learning for students: An effective social and emotional learning curriculum is regularly taught to all students to improve their self awareness, social-awareness, self-management, relationship skills and their capacity for responsible decision-making.
- Parenting support and education: Parents and families receive opportunities to access information on child development and parenting as well as engage with other parents and families.
- Early intervention for students experiencing mental health difficulties: School staff and parents receive information on strategies to support and assist children experiencing mental health problems. This includes information on detecting signs of mental health difficulties in young children, information on local service providers and how to access evidence-based programs and interventions.