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"Students are incapable of learning effectively unless they feel a strong sense of belonging. Schools are uniquely positioned to develop communities where students are valued, cared for and their wellbeing is always considered. The vast majority of adolescents, on any given week day, are in educational institutions, so there is logic in seeing schools as a primary promoter of mental health.
A threefold approach to encouraging mental health in schools seems to be an effective method. Firstly, schools should seek to be environments shaped by a positive culture which encourages strong community spirit. Secondly, preventative and awareness programs are vital protective tools which can teach students to practise helpful strategies when facing difficulties. In my welfare roles, I have been exposed to and implemented a range of programs and strategies which operate within this sphere, including Mindmatters, and the Resourceful Adolescent Program. Well-considered anti-bullying policies and programs also promote student wellbeing and are vital components in ensuring students are able to learn. I have been involved in developing, reviewing and implementing such policies. Thirdly, schools require a strong and united welfare team which include executive staff, counselling services and others trained or experienced in managing students with mental illness.
- Excerpt from a sample Educational Philosophy Statement.