VicSRC in focus: Student Wellbeing
In our seventh bitesize piece of the VicSRC Policy Platform, we break down our next focus area: Student Wellbeing. See how it underpins all our work - and can be used as a guide to yours.
GOAL 7: All students have ready access to the support they need, including mental health services.
Why this matters
We believe student wellbeing is a key responsibility of schools. Because we spend a large amount of time there, schools have an important role in supporting our wellbeing. Student support services and student welfare coordinators play a very important role in schools and should be well funded.
We learn best when our social and emotional development is supported. Wellbeing support should be offered to all students, not just those who are in difficulty. Prevention programs and assistance offered at school can help us manage ourselves and our relationships, develop skills for life, get back on track if we need to and avoid problems later in life.
Students who have a disability or who are experiencing difficulties need extra support. There are still gaps in the services offered to these students and more funding is required.
We can play an active role in supporting the wellbeing of our friends and peers at school. Often when we are having a tough-time, we look to friends for support. We can be supported to be even better at helping each other out if we are provided with training and support to do this really well and safely. This training should be something we actively participate in and help to shape rather than information just given to us. It should also ensure we know when we need the support of adults – to get support for our friends or ourselves.
All schools have enough student support and wellbeing services such as welfare coordinators, health professionals and counsellors to meet the needs of all students.
Stronger ability to provide support that prevents students from being vulnerable and assist them early when they need support. This can be done well through connecting youth focussed services to schools and expanding this support such as through the placement of youth workers in schools.
Students have access to programs about mental health, drug and alcohol misuse and abuse, gambling addiction, and other relevant wellbeing issues.
Students are provided with quality training and support to strengthen their knowledge and skills in how to be supportive of friends with mental health concerns.
All Victorian students continue to have access to programs and resources to support gender diversity, sexual diversity and intersex topics.
All school welfare and wellbeing staff are trained to work in positive, constructive and non-judgmental ways with students who share information about their sexual orientation and gender.
Wellbeing strategies such as mindfulness are included in the curriculum.
A culture of confidentiality and trust in schools so students know sensitive information told to staff will not be shared inappropriately.
“Student wellbeing is important as stress is a huge factor of a student’s school life and having someone that will support you through it would be an advantage to elevate stress.”
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