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A unique program that equips teachers to better understand and help young people with mental health issues will be rolled out to secondary schools across Australia, thanks to a new partnership between the Black Dog Institute and nib foundation.
A $500,000 grant from nib foundation will enable the Black Dog Institute to train 1,500 high school teachers in the innovative HeadStrong program over the next three years, helping to reach 90,000 students, with a particular focus on rural and remote locations.
HeadStrong is a ground-breaking teaching resource that uses a series of engaging, humorous cartoon images to convey complicated subjects to students and is supported by classroom activities and teacher development notes.
Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute, Professor Helen Christensen, said the program was an important social initiative that provided a creative way of thinking, talking and teaching about mood disorders.
'One in five Australians will experience a mood disorder in their lifetime and up to 75 per cent of mental health issues emerge during the turbulent adolescent years,' Professor Christensen said.
'This resource is designed to target the needs of young people, with the visual format of the materials making it accessible to students of all intellectual abilities, as well as those from a low literacy or non-English speaking background,' she added.
Source: Northern Territory Youth Affairs Network