Over the last four years, the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Australia has taken a hit, with research from Mission Australia showing that one in four secondary students and one in seven primary school students report having a mental health condition – ultimately leading to psychological problems in their adult life.
Recognising this, suicide prevention charity R U OK? has released new resources tailored to primary and secondary educators to help teach primary and secondary students how they can support someone they know who might be going through a tough time or struggling with life.
“Educators are passionate about doing the very best for the young Australians in their care despite managing workload pressure, staff shortages and long hours”, Dr Hannah Brown, Education and Young People Manager at R U OK? said.
“They recognise that for their students, supporting their peers and talking with each other about how they’re really feeling are important life skills.”
Dr Brown noted that in the organisation’s consultations with educators, they consistently heard that time constraints were a barrier to searching for supporting resources.
“By creating the opportunity for educators to receive resources directly and focusing on concise, easy-to-implement ideas, we hope to simplify workflow and support the dedicated teaching community to embed these important life skills among their school community every day of the year.”
The 2024 R U OK? educator resources include downloadable calendars which highlight important dates and provide links to free activities and resources for use year-round in the classroom.
Teachers will also have access to a dedicated educator e-newsletter which serves as a concise quarterly email update featuring links to practical resources, ideas for classroom activities, and inspiring stories from educators who are fostering an R U OK? culture in their community throughout the year.
The resources free and age-appropriate resources have been co-developed with educators, mapped to learning themes and aligned with learning objectives. Additionally, they have been designed to help schools build and maintain an R U OK? Culture amongst staff, students, and the wider school community.