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Find out about Be You

1 June 2020

Cris Zollo, a Be You consultant, explains how Be You can help teachers and educators promote positive mental health in their learning community.

This is such an uncertain time, as we all start to come out of lockdown during a pandemic. How can Be You help?

“In addition to the range of resources always available to educators to support them in responding to their learning community’s needs, Be You has compiled a Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting early learning communities resource.

“The ‘Practical strategies to support children and young people with anxiety during COVID-19 times’ webinar and the virtual conference ‘Responding together: managing wellbeing in times of change and uncertainty’ have also been planned to support early learning services, school aged care services and schools to respond to current uncertain times.”

How can Be You help educators, teachers and the children and young people they work with?

“Be You offers educators and learning communities evidence-based online professional learning, complemented by a range of tools and resources (e.g. fact sheets) and consultant support to turn learning into action.

“Many of the influences on mental health and wellbeing are interrelated, and the most effective approaches to promoting positive mental health involve everyone within a learning community: children, staff and families.

“In this way it aligns with national priorities and service priorities identified in quality improvement plans and individual educator professional development plans.”

What are some of the main things educators and teachers can do to help children develop good mental health?

“Understanding the concepts of mental health and wellbeing in children is most important in supporting engagement with Be You professional learning.

“Children, families and educators are most likely to experience positive mental health and wellbeing in an inclusive environment, where people have supportive relationships with each other.

“Some of the ways educators contribute to promoting the mental health and wellbeing of children and families include:

  • supporting the development of social and emotional skills that enable children to make friends easily and thus be less likely to experience social isolation
  • establishing positive connections with families to support learning
  • establishing caring relationships with family and/or educators, which provides a source of support to help them cope with difficulties.

“Similarly, when children have a strong sense of cultural identity it can help to increase resilience and buffer the negative effects of discrimination.

“Engaging with Be You professional learning, making use of the resources and attending events can support educators to enhance their skills to promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and families.”

Do you offer training, advice or support for educators and teachers?

“Yes, Be You offers online professional learning modules, a range of resources (e.g. fact sheets, Be You News) and online events, such as webinars and the upcoming virtual conference without cost to educators.”

Does your service help parents in any way?

“Learning communities are encouraged to include families. Educators often share Be You resources, such as fact sheets, with families through their newsletters, foyer displays, and their online learning and documentation program.

“Educators can refer families directly to the Be You website, or Beyond Blue’s Healthy Families website. There is also a Be You Families, Facebook page.”

Do you provide any direct counselling or personal support?

“No. We can, however, support educators from early learning services and school aged care services to identify services in their local community or online to support them to respond to the identified need.”

What is your role in the organisation?

“I am a Be You consultant, employed by Early Childhood Australia to support early learning and school-aged care services with implementation of Be You.

“Headspace schools is the other delivery partner, along with Early Childhood Australia, and they employ consultants to support primary and secondary schools with Be You implementation.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“A service is referred to as a learning community in Be You. Educators, including leadership, register as individuals and then link to their learning community. Leaders then take the next step and complete the form to register for whole of learning community participation.

“Educators can register as individuals, even if their services is not ready to participate as a whole learning community.”

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