As part of Korowa’s whole School Mental Health Strategy, our Year 7 and 8 students have been working with Stephanie Silver from I am Mindful throughout Term 2 to better understand and implement important self-care and healthy practices. Each student, received their own, and personalised, I am Mindful sensory kit which includes sensory self-soothing tools. Working with Stephanie, the students have been learning how to use these to support their wellbeing and learning whilst at school. In addition, each of our Community teachers have Korowa designated I am Mindful boxes in their classrooms for the students to access when required and for integration in Community lessons, helping to support and initiate courageous conversations. These sensory tools can be used to support daily routines, situations of stress, and to encourage brain breaks whilst at school.
As part of their Community class, students will engage in conversations about how to use these kits mindfully, and as part of their daily routines using positive coping strategies to support their wellbeing and learning. From this, students will begin to understand which sensory tools work best for them and they can use this knowledge to add to their ‘kit’ at school. The Cripps students have also been encouraged to create their own Mindful Kits at home, based on their knowledge and work with Stephanie.
These tools form part of a bigger discussion about coping strategies. Positive coping strategies are actions we can take to help us keep going or persist when things get tough. We aim to have a wide range of positive coping strategies so that we can use them in combinations to match the challenges we are facing. We are continuing to have conversations with students around strategies that work for them and new ones to try.
Strategies can fall under the following styles of coping;
- Energetic activity which includes exercise and active play which can lift your mood
- Self-calming activity which includes things that calm you down, and ground you to your senses and the present moment
- Social activity, like talking things over, help seeking or connecting with others
- Shifting attention, things that take your mind to a different place
- Getting organised, activities that help you plan and get organised
- Thinking strategies which change your way of looking at the situation
The I am Mindful Project gave students a range of tools and ideas for self-calming activities.
Positive coping strategies are a part of Self-Care, which along with Healthy Practices and Connections is an integral part of our Mental Health Strategy.
Students will continue to develop, set goals and track the progress of their own Self-Care plan, including positive coping strategies they have used before and new ones. The objective of these programs is for students to learn skills to alleviate stress and improve wellbeing.