headspace is Australia’s national youth mental health foundation, providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25-year-olds.
Much of the work headspace does around suicide prevention and postvention is carried out by our headspace Schools division.
headspace Schools engages with the education and health sectors across Australia to build the mental health literacy and capacity of young people, their families and school communities.
When communities are experiencing an increased number of suicides or are identified as being at high risk of suicide, headspace Schools plays a vital role in getting support to those communities.
Be You partnership
headspace is a proud service delivery partner for BeYou – a national program to support children’s and young people’s mental health in early learning services and schools. We handle recruitment, engagement, retention of more than 6500 participating primary and secondary schools and their communities in the program and have continued this work right across the year, despite challenges related to COVID-19 and various lockdowns across the country.
In addition, the team facilitates national postvention support for schools impacted by suicide and suicide risk. In the past 18 months, we’ve provided immediate suicide postvention support to more than 600 schools and supported a further 1,000 schools with intensive support.
Mental Health Education Program
Schools play an important role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people and their family and friends. Our mental health education workshops are designed for secondary students, their families and their friends to build mental health awareness, knowledge and skills. Workshops are interactive, strength-based, evidence-informed and timed to fit a standard school lesson.
Workshops are facilitated onsite at schools or online as a webinar.
Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, our Mental Health Education Program team delivered more than 500 of these sessions over the past year, reaching about 26,000 secondary school students all around the country.
NSW community collaboratives and parent-carer information sessions
In 2021, headspace Schools and Lifeline were the recipients of NSW government funding to establish 12 Community Wellbeing Collaboratives in communities at high risk of suicide.
When a region is identified as high risk or is emerging as high risk, we work with Lifeline and other national agencies to activate support services in that community. These collaborations aim to build protective factors, coping, wellbeing and resilience among residents, young and old.
This support is currently being provided to 12 regions across NSW.
The NSW government also backed headspace Schools to roll out families and friends information sessions across their state in communities impacted by suicide. So far we’ve run 70 sessions, reaching more than 1500 people.
Several newer programs have commenced over the course of the last year and we look forward to talking more about these initiatives in the future.
- Work with Australian universities in suicide postvention based on the model that headspace Schools and rollout of a National Suicide Toolkit for Australian Universities;
- Further development on a national suicide response toolkit for sports clubs; and community clubs;
- Development of a national framework for responding to child & youth suicide clusters across Australia;
- Australian School leader and principal wellbeing strategy development;
- Allied health support strategy development;
- Co-designed Aboriginal focused mental health packages, and
- Policy development for education departments (across a number of states and territories)