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Emotional distress affects children and young people and school communities every year. This may include mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and self harm behaviours. These issues have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including their educational, developmental and wellbeing outcomes.

To support school communities to effectively identify and intervene early with the mental health needs of children and young people, the Victorian government has partnered with headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation to deliver SAFEMinds: Schools and Families Enhancing Minds.

What is SAFEMinds?

SAFEMinds is a learning and resource package for schools and families that aims to:

 - enhance early intervention mental health support for  children and young people in schools; specifically regarding mild mood disorders (anxiety and depression) and self harm

 - increase engagement of parents and carers with schools to more effectively support their child’s mental health; and

 - develop clear and effective referral pathways between schools and community youth and mental health services.



It provides a suite of online materials for the whole school community, including teachers, school support staff and parents and carers, as well as a range of targeted face-to-face professional learning opportunities.

How can SAFEMinds help me?

SAFEMinds: Online uses an immersive, video-based experience, to tell a series of personal stories of children and young people, their families and teachers. The “Parents and Carers” section of this resource provides videos and a toolkit of supporting resources specifically for parents and carers, to develop their knowledge and understanding about the many different forms of emotional distress children and young people may experience, and how these might be presented.

To access the full suite of SAFEMinds resources, please go to the SAFEMinds website When prompted for a password, enter “SAFEMinds-Guest”.

Once you are in the SAFEMinds site, click the ‘SAFEMinds Online’ tab to access the parent and carer videos and toolkit resources.

SAFEMinds: At Home will offer a series of parent information forums in various locations across Victoria to support connections between parents and carers and schools and local mental health services. Parents and carers will be invited to attend forums in which headspace will provide useful information about supporting children and young people experiencing emotional distress, along with a panel of local mental health agencies who will provide information and answer questions from families about the services they provide. Further information about these forums, including dates and venues, will be made available on this site soon.

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