2009 Research Grant to "Resilience Australia"


Building Children's Resilience in Fire Affected Communities

The Mental Health Foundation of Australia in conjunction with Monash University Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology has received a research grant from Beyond Blue to develop and evaluate a new model of responding to the needs of children following a natural disaster. This project will support and enhance existing agencies and structures for three communities.

The project aims to:

(a) Establish and trial an indicated practical early intervention through a series of workshops across three selected communities to build children's resilience, mental health and wellbeing following the experience of community based traumatic events (e.g., fires, floods, multiple deaths);

(b) Provide practical pathways to, and the provision of, early interventions in community settings for addressing trauma-related mental illness in children by training school teachers in identifying symptoms and signs of mental illness and by training clinicians in cognitive behavioural therapy designed to treat trauma.


Embrace the Future

Embrace the Future is an important project of the MHFA. This program has been developed in collaboration with young people up to the age of 24 to educate them in skills and strategies to assist in the development and maintenance of positive mental health and well-being.

Resiliency is the capacity to cope with and bounce back from adversity. Psychologists began to study resiliency when they noticed that some young people did well in their lives despite being faced with many hardships and problems. A lot of research was done to work out what made these young people different. The researchers identified things like problem-solving skills, social support and optimistic thinking as important factors.

Resiliency Resource Centre

www.embracethefuture.org.au/resiliency

The Embrace the Future Resiliency Resource Centre is a website for teachers, parents and other people who work with or care for children. It provides information about resiliency and how to foster it in children. Although much of the information provided here will be relevant to adolescents as well, the focus of this site is on primary-school age children.

Here you can find:

         An overview of current research in the area of resiliency.

         Information about what makes a child resilient.

         Detailed ideas for teachers about how to develop programs that help to create resilient children.

         Tips for parents and carers about how to interact with children in ways that promote resiliency.

         Information for schools about how to implement resiliency-promoting policies and practices.

         Links to other resiliency-related websites.

Resilient Schools Program

The Resilient Schools Program is a new Embrace the Future project which aims to help Australian primary schools to implement policies, practices and curricula which promote resiliency and mental health and wellbeing. The Resilient Schools Program offers training, consultancy, resources and support to primary school teachers and management to raise awareness of resiliency and mental health issues and to help schools to put in place strategies and practices which promote resiliency.

Kids Site

www.embracethefuture.org.au/kids

This website was created for younger children and this is cross-linked to the Embrace the Future website, which offers resiliency information, games and other resources for primary-age children.
You can participate in the Embrace the Future program to raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing.