Do you think you’re well-equipped to identify when a student is struggling with depression? Sure, there are the telltale signs – a constant state of sadness, ongoing problems with fellow students and aggressive behaviour – but would you be able to differentiate between hormonal changes and something more sinister? And how would you approach the situation?
 
Recent research in The Royal Children’s Hospital’s Child Health Poll found that only one-third of parents are confident in spotting a mental-health problem in their child. In fact, many of them don’t even rely on their own ability to deal with the issue.
 
“In this poll, parents reported their GP, teachers and school counsellors as potential sources of help for addressing concerns they might have about their child’s mental health,” reports Dr Anthea Rhodes, paediatrician and director of the poll. “This highlights the importance of investing resources to adequately train and support staff in schools and primary care providers to meet this need.”
 
Additional research, published in the ASG Parents Report Card by ASG and Monash University, back up these findings, showing that 69 per cent of parents believe schools should do more to teach children about social skills.
 
Thankfully, with its new ‘whole of curriculum’ suite of school programs, Interrelate can help support children, parents and teachers when it comes to identifying and dealing with issues that can lead to depression, and also enhance their social skills.
 
Not sure how to explain the changes associated with growing up?
 
Book in for ‘Preparing For Puberty’, a family evening program that develops students’ understanding of the physical, emotional, social and intellectual changes associated with puberty. It also enhances children’s awareness of their own personal safety and protective behaviours.
 
Is bullying a concern?
 
Sign up for the ‘Bullying Awareness Program’ to develop students’ understanding of the nature of bullying, including cyberbullying, and provide them with strategies to foster a school culture based on mutual respect. Schools have identified that holding this program in Term 1 helps set the tone for the school year by clearly setting out what is expected of students. 
 
A cybersafety seminar and webinar are also available for parents and carers – 60-minute sessions that offer vital support for keeping children safe.
 
Schools can also now choose from a range of complementary programs to build on and enhance relationship and sexuality education. Themes include hygiene, feeling safe, diversity and positive body image – and, as always, programs can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your school. 
 
Interrelate’s working relationship with almost 1000 schools enables them to deliver programs that cover bullying, sexuality, puberty and healthy relationships to more than 90,000 children and families. It’s time we all worked together to create happy little humans.
 
Call 02 8882 7875 or email schoolservices@interrelate.org.au to learn more.