Regional educators receive a boost to tackle mental health

Posted on Monday, 22 May 2023

Last year the Kidman Centre at the University of Technology Sydney received a $10,000 donation from Canterbury League Club to run the THRIVE project—school-based workshops to help educators in regional and rural areas of New South Wales tackle mental health in their communities.

Teachers, school principals, learning support teams, and school counsellors from over 100 schools from areas like Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, and Moree attended these workshops. They received resources on how to identify emotional issues like anxiety and low mood in the classroom and practical steps on how to address them.

“Educators recognise the prevalence of mental health issues in regional communities but there is only limited resources and support available. In addition, regional schools often face multiple external stressors including COVID-19, droughts, and floods” said Rachael Murrihy, from The Kidman Centre.

Feedback from workshop attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, with strategies for both whole-class and individual cases being highly appreciated.

“Participants value the face-to-face interactions, the ability to bounce ideas off each other, and the comprehensive nature of the course. The practical skills gained through THRIVE have increased attendees’ confidence in managing emotional issues in children, with 96% expressing confidence in their abilities,” said Rachael.

Overall, Canterbury’s support and the success of THRIVE have underscored the significance of giving back to communities, particularly in areas lacking adequate mental health resources. “Canterbury is proud to support a program which plays a crucial role in equipping educators with knowledge to address the emotional and mental health needs of children,” said Peter Winchester, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.