News • 04 May 2023

headspace Redcliffe wins grant for school engagement kit

headspace Redcliffe school engagement kit

After successfully trialling a school engagement kit, headspace Redcliffe has won funding to rollout the kit to even more schools to further benefit the mental health of young people.

The idea of a school engagement kit was trialled at Dakabin State High School on headspace day last year to get young people talking about their mental health.

Following its success, the headspace team applied for funding from the Queensland Governments Gambling Community Benefit Fund, to enable them to replicate this successful initiative on a wider scale.

The application was successful, and the funding is being used to purchase more marquees, bean bags, food and other entertainment to keep the young visitors engaged.

The “kit” involves setting up at the school entrances with a large green marquee, two huge bean bags, activities such as origami and make your own fidget, balloons and snacks.

headspace Redcliffe Community Engagement Officer, Rikki Gross, said that when we first trialled the kit, we had hoped to create a sense of excitement and wonder as students started arriving for school.

“The key was to stay put for the entire day and allow the young people plenty of opportunities to drop in,” said Rikki. “We set out to show the students that we’re fun and welcoming, and that it’s okay to talk about mental health.”

“The breakthrough moment for me was speaking to a young girl who was having some troubles and had previously booked an appointment at the headspace centre but became too nervous to attend and had cancelled. After chatting to us for the whole day, she gained the confidence to rebook and actually attended her appointment this time, and subsequent appointments, which is really benefiting her mental health,” she said.

The initiative received lots of positive feedback from students of all ages, staff and parents.

Also in attendance were members of the headspace Redcliffe Youth Reference Group, who assisted in greeting and having conversations with the young people.

The grant funding enables Rikki and her team to have separate kits based at each of the three headspace centres operated by Open Minds: Redcliffe, Strathpine and Indooroopilly.

“We are delighted to have won funding to be able to roll this out on a wider scale. This will create further awareness of who we are and what we can do, and will help to teach students to pause, reflect and reconnect,” Rikki added.

Find out more about the headspace centres operated by Open Minds here.

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