Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
Healthy Minds is a prevention program for schools which aims to prevent and reduce risk for the onset of symptoms of anxiety, depression and eating disorders, while also building wellbeing and resilience. It encompasses psychological skills training – an approach best described as ‘preventive psychology’ while also including some elements of positive psychology - to provide psychological immunisation against risk for mental health disorders. It encompasses the ‘Three Golden Keys’ of doing school-based wellbeing well: 1) Explicitly teaching sophisticated psychological skills to students, 2) Engaging school staff as agents of support, connectedness, referral, and implementation of wellbeing programs; and 3) Harnessing the good intentions of parents by providing them with good knowledge to influence the psychological development of their children in helpful ways.
The program is delivered by psychologist in conjunction with the school's own staff, with eight group presentations to students by Healthy Minds psychologist-facilitators supported by eight classroom lessons by trained school staff. Also provided as part of the program are a teacher training day (professional development), a comprehensive ‘Teachers’ Guide’ and ‘Student Workbook’ , parent seminars and parent module documents and flexible ‘booster’ sessions that can be chosen for selected year levels to embed concepts taught.
Students are introduced to a framework for thinking about and managing their personal wellbeing using an integrated, holistic, and evidence-based model called the Wellbeing Wheel. They also learn about the effect of wellbeing on performance, the purpose and functions of emotions and how to manage them, the cognitive skill of balanced, helpful and realistic thinking, how perfectionism can impede achievement, how to be critical consumers of media (including social media), self-compassion, the power of gratitude, strategies to deal with being 'over-stressed' and personal values and learning from the wisdom of others.
Secondary Schools & P-12 Schools
Full Healthy Minds program for one year: $19,049 (exc. GST and travel expenses)
- 10 visits to the school (or the equivalent service delivered via remote learning)
- A teacher training workshop to prepare teachers who will deliver the classroom lessons (this is usually a 1-day training).
- A Year 8 (or Year 7) Parent Night at commencement of term, called ‘Seven Secrets to a Healthy Mind’.
- The Year 8 (or Year 7) term-long program which involves 8 group presentations by a Healthy Minds psychologist-facilitator and 8 corresponding classroom lessons.
- A Teachers’ Guide with detailed lesson plans, links, worksheets, and resources.
- Student Workbooks which can be used in either hard copy or digital format.
- Weekly Parent Modules so parents can follow along with the core content.
- If applicable, a Junior School Parent Night ‘Pathways to a Healthy Mind’.
- Flexible ‘boosters’ (up to 3 hours’ presentation time) for other year levels, staff, or parents.
- Leads to Accreditation as a Healthy Minds™ School (accreditation is renewed annually)
Primary schools may book any of the Healthy Minds primary school components for $2250 (exc. GST and travel expenses)
- A parenting seminar ‘Pathways to a Healthy Mind’
- A teacher PD seminar ‘Pathways to a Healthy Mind: Educator Edition’
- A teacher PD seminar ‘Understanding & Overcoming Anxiety: Having a Healthy Mind
Target population: The main long-term component is for Year 8 (or Year 7)
Program adaptability: Schools timetable the program according to their own circumstances.
Staffing: Backfilling required for staff to assist in the delivery of the program and to attend comprehensive training day and PD training sessions. Each school is asked to nominate an internal Healthy Minds Coordinator.
Training requirements: In-person training requires AV system for PowerPoint, video and sound in a large space for one year level of students, online training requires IT systems to support remote delivery (e.g. Zoom)
Australian experience: Developed, implemented and evaluated in Australia.
Strength of Evidence
Level 4: Established evidence for program
- Increased self-compassion
- Reduced onset of symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Increased knowledge of mental health and wellbeing