Every year there appears to be another framework, resource or program on offer to assist schools with enhancing student wellbeing. Some are fantastic whilst others make claims that probably warrant further investigation.
However, the Victorian Department of Education has released an excellent resource. Entitled Building Resilience: A Model to Support Children and Young People and with significant input from Generation Next regular Andrew Fuller, it offers a coherent guide for schools wishing to address resilience in their student body.
The framework identifies five key areas that schools need to address.
Effective leaders recognise the importance of a whole-school approach to building resilience in children and young people, by embedding resilience at organisational, relational and pedagogical levels.
Working together is the best way to positively influence student outcomes. Effective approaches to building the resilience of children and young people include active partnerships between education systems, parents, carers, students, the broader community and health and wellbeing service providers.
One way that schools can promote resilience in children and young people is through the teaching of evidence-based programs that explicitly foster social and emotional learning (SEL). This includes the skills of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management.
Teachers and Early Childhood professionals are well-placed to identify children and young people with additional academic, social or wellbeing needs and to instigate school-based efforts to provide targeted support. At particular times all students need more care and attention than usual, and some children and young people need greater social, emotional or academic support on a more intensive or ongoing basis.
Some social and emotional problems affecting students require specialist assessment and intervention. Schools can play a key role in the early identification of students in need of specialised mental health support and in linking them and their family to the appropriate service provider.
As well as providing broad guidelines, the resources is a hub of research as specific strategies and resources. Please do check it out! You can find it at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/resilienceframework.aspx
Author: Dan Haesler is a teacher, consultant and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. His website is: http://danhaesler.com/ and he tweets at @danhaesler