CRAIGIE Heights Primary School is taking part in a new mental health promotion program to help students build coping skills and self-esteem.
Aussie Optimism is an evidence-based program written by Curtin University for children in primary and lower secondary schools and implemented through YouthCARE chaplains, teachers and principals.
“This program is helping students understand their thinking style and giving them the knowledge to be able to change their thinking,” school chaplain Jenny Palandri said.
She said the skills being taught to students through the program were affecting their home life as well_ as school.
“I remember a conversation with a parent whose daughter was working through some issues,” she said.
“Her brother encouraged her to change her thinking through practical ways he had learnt in Aussie Optimism.
“It’s encouraging to see the effect the course is having in a larger sense.”
Curtin University research co-ordinator Natalie Baughman said children could not always be protected from stress.
“However, they can be provided with the skills necessary to cope with stress and to rise above life’s difficulties and challenges,” she said.
Aussie Optimism co-director Rosie Rooney said the program provided resilience skills “such as thinking more optimistically, learning how to deal with friends, doing fun things and relaxing in a fun way within the classroom”.