Schools Mental Health Fund
What is the Schools Mental Health Menu?
The Menu is a list of evidence-based student mental health and wellbeing programs and initiatives. It is designed to give schools confidence in identifying programs, staff and resources that will improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for their students.
The Menu underpins the Schools Mental Health Fund.
The Menu is structured in three tiers (pictured) to encourage schools to promote positive mental health, intervene early to support students and provide targeted interventions to individual students or small groups.
Blue EDGE is listed on the Schools Mental Health Menu under Tier1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
The Blue EDGE (Educate, Develop, Grow, Empower) program aims to increase young people’s resilience and wellbeing. The program runs for 16 sessions and uses exercise, workshops, peer support and community role models to improve student wellbeing. The program targets Year 7-9 students who have experienced challenges, disengagement and mental health concerns.
The sessions involve exercise, a shared meal and a workshop. Workshops focus on young people’s wellbeing, building confidence and self-worth, tools to regulate emotions, connections and teamwork.
type of intervention
Local community-led mental health interventions
* Secondary school students – lower
* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
* LGBTIQ+ students
* Asylum seeker and refugee students
* Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students
* Students with disability
* Increased sense of empowerment
* Growth-mindset and increased knowledge of life skills, including motional self-regulation, empathy, and how to find support
* Improved attitude toward, trust in, and understanding of police/emergency services
The program includes:
- A Blue EDGE T-shirt for each participant
- Program Equipment and Materials
Additional travel expenses may apply in the event that local facilitators are unable to be recruited.
Target population: Year 7-9 students who have experienced disadvantage or mental health challenges, are disengaged from school, have displayed an interest in personal development opportunities, and/or displayed leadership qualities.
Program adaptability: Blue EDGE has been designed to be adaptable and can be modified depending on local need. Before commencement the Blue EDGE coordinator with work with schools to identify areas of greatest need so that sessions can be tailored accordingly. Whilst some session topics are fundamental to the program flexibility exists to choose a range of session topics/workshops that suit the local needs.
Staffing: Schools are not required to backfill for teaching staff during the implementation of this program as it is usually delivered before school. Teachers are encouraged to participate; however no preparation is required and participation is at the teacher’s discretion.
Training requirements: No training required. The only equipment to be provided by the school is a suitable space to run the program enabling for safe participation in the fitness session (e.g.: gymnasium).
Factors to consider: The program runs onsite before school (although can be delivered during class or after school). Sessions are 90 minutes in duration with 16 sessions in total delivered either twice weekly (over 8 weeks), or once per week over 16 weeks. The program is delivered to a cohort of 20 students, with a minimum requirement of 15 students.
Australian context: This program has been developed and applied in Australia.