The SAFEMinds program

In 2013, headspace partnered with the Victorian Department of Education to develop SAFEMinds: Schools and Families Enhancing Minds, a comprehensive professional learning and resource package that enhances the capacity of educators and school communities to; effectively identify children and young people with early signs of mental health concerns, implement school-based interventions and refer to other support services as needed.

In 2014, the SAFEMinds program was awarded the ‘Mental Health Educator Excellence Award’ at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards and an international ‘Best in Class (Healthcare) Award’ at the Interactive Media Awards.

headspace Schools has been delivering SAFEMinds across the Victorian government education workforce since 2013. In 2020, the SAFEMinds program expanded its reach through dedicated funding from the New South Wales Department of Education and the Queensland Department of Education for the implementation of this professional learning package to their workforces.

Who we are

headspace Schools (formerly known as headspace School Support) is a national workforce that supports, engages and partners with education and health sectors across Australia, to build the mental health literacy and capacity of workforces. Our workforce is made up of highly skilled education and clinical professionals who deliver our professional learning packages and services. headspace Schools is a nationwide division of headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Why early intervention?

The early intervention strategies assist children and young people with emerging mental health concerns before they develop into more serious illnesses or other associated problems.

SAFEMinds 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;
  • develop clear and effective referral pathways between schools and community youth and mental health services.

SAFEMinds Online aims to develop the knowledge and understanding of the whole school community about the many different forms of emotional distress children and young people may experience, and how these might be presented. It uses a series of immersive, video-based experiences and personal stories of children and young people, their families and teachers.

SAFEMinds Champions across Australia

0 62
Workshops held across Victoria (2018-2020)
0 2274
Participants have completed the face-to-face training (2014 – 2020)
0 1120
Participants have completed the SAFEMinds training online (due to COVID-19) across VIC and NSW (2020)

How does SAFEMinds fit into department policy in my State or Territory?

Student wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention are high priorities for state governments. In recognition of this, the SAFEMinds program is available in various educational jurisdictions to build the capacity of staff to effectively respond to students with mental health concerns to support the long-term wellbeing and educational outcomes for students.

I'm a parent, can I participate in SAFEMinds too?

Yes. SAFEMinds: At Home provides parents and carers with information and resources to assist them to support their child and take appropriate action to reach out for support if they are concerned about their mental health and wellbeing.

Learn more

Want to learn more about the SAFEMinds training?

Find out about the SAFEMinds: In Practice professional learning package in your state or territory.

Learn more

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