As Victorian secondary school students draw closer to the examinations season of an extraordinarily tough year, Smiling Mind has announced new free, tailored mental health support tools aimed at year 10-12 students.
Supported by a $200,125 funding boost from the Andrews Government, and generous additional funding from The Prior Family Foundation, the program will feature a six part video series called 'Feeling It'. The initiative includes evidence-based wellbeing tools and strategies to assist students through the final months of the school year.
The resources are expected to reach a minimum of 50,000 Victorian senior secondary students.
Housed in the popular Smiling Mind app, it will provide a range of interactive features, mindfulness resources and downloadable tip sheets to support VCAL and VCE students maintain good mental health in the final months of 2020. The resources will be distributed via social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat in order to achieve the biggest impact, as well as reach students in a meaningful way.
Smiling Mind CEO, Dr Addie Wootten, said it was critical that students had tools to manage the additional stressors that COVID-19 had created.
"Secondary school students, particularly those in years 10, 11 and 12, have had an extraordinarily tough year. These senior years are stressful at the best of times, but the addition of social distancing restrictions, remote learning and isolation from friends have all significantly added to the pressure," Dr Wootten said.
"Taking a preventative approach is essential to ensure we minimise the long-term impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on mental health. Talking about the impact on mental health isn't enough - we need to ensure we're practically supporting students to develop skills and practices that can help support good mental health, build resilience and assist learning."
As Australia's leading digital prevention focussed mental health organisation Smiling Mind already supports more than 3.8 million Australian young people and 194,000 teachers (a third of all Australian educators). COVID-19 has seen unprecedented demand across its digital resources, with monthly active users more than doubling across most months in 2020.
"Smiling Mind wouldn't be in a position to offer this free service to Victorian students without the support of the Victorian Government and Minister for Education James Merlino, and the ongoing generosity of our philanthropic partners," Dr Wootten concluded.
To access the new resources for secondary school students, download the Smiling Mind app (on iOS or Android), and head to Youth Programs. The accompanying 'Feeling It' video series, hosted by popular TikToker Jasminetxo, will be shared across social channels, including TikTok and Instagram IGTV.
Snapchat, ensuring the resources are as accessible and interactive as possible. For more information visit: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/feeling-it