The issue of wellbeing and mental health for those working in the education sector is a complex one, particularly at a time when staffing challenges are persisting, teachers are supporting a generation of children who have spent pivotal classroom years living through a global pandemic, and families are under stress from cost of living and housing challenges. So how do educators best support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care, as well as their own? When faced with questions asked of them in their daily job, where do they go to ask questions about mental health and wellbeing?
Thankfully specialised support from Be You is available, completely free of charge, to assist educators and leaders working in early learning and schools to develop a positive, inclusive and resilient learning community where every child, educator and family can achieve their best possible mental health.
What is Be You?
Be You is the national mental health and wellbeing initiative for learning communities in Australia.
Be You is a federally funded initiative; delivered by Beyond Blue, in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia and headspace.
Context matters, which is why Be You is different from a wellbeing program. Be You offers a flexible, whole learning community approach that builds on what you’re already doing to support the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people, educators and families in your learning community.
Our free, evidence-informed tools and resources can be embedded in your everyday practice and are designed to fit within your school's existing framework.
What does Be You offer?
Be You offers accredited Professional Learning, online Sessions and Events, Fact Sheets and other resources, and, for participating Be You Learning Communities, Be You Consultant support – all free of charge.
Our Be You Consultant team is comprised of highly skilled professionals with a range of expertise, knowledge, experience and interests, who have backgrounds in early childhood, primary school, psychology, adult learning, research, the regulatory authority and inclusion support.
Our team is here, walking alongside you, helping navigate, connect the dots, keep motivated and cheer you on along your journey to growing a mentally healthy learning community.
Be You is also talking with governments about how to makes changes to the education system to make it easier for early learning services and schools to support children and young people’s wellbeing.
Who is Be You for?
Be You supports educators and leaders who work in early learning services and schools, as well as those pre-service professionals, or those who are completing their training, to develop a positive, inclusive and resilient learning community where every child, young person, educator and family can achieve their best possible mental health.
Over 6,000 early learning services and more than 7,300 schools around Australia are registered as a Be You Learning Community. Registering is easy and gives you access to the full range of tools, resources and support from our team of Be You Consultants.
Schools, at all stages of understanding about mental health and wellbeing, can be supported by the Be You initiative. Some approach Be You for support following a specific issue or event (such as a natural disaster in their community, or for support in talking to families about mental health) while others are looking for ways to better support their staff team to grow and develop their knowledge and skills of what it means to be in the best possible mental health.
For those who are not yet working in a school, who are casual educators, or who wish to pursue learning about mental health and wellbeing in an independent way, Be You offers individual registration to access trusted resources to build their mental health literacy and support their learning community’s mental health and wellbeing, including accredited online Professional Learning and a Be You profile that travels with them throughout their career. More than 170,000 individuals are taking advantage of what Be You offers.
Why do educators need wellbeing support?
Educators are integral members of learning communities, and as such, your wellbeing is an essential aspect of a mentally healthy learning community. Educator wellbeing is inextricably linked to your capacity to build relationships with children, young people, families and colleagues and to help children learn.
While self-care is important, educator wellbeing is about more than individual strategies. Learning communities need to adopt a whole-of-setting approach. This includes promoting wellbeing, inclusivity and diversity.
When the responsibility for educator wellbeing is shared across the learning community, it has a positive impact on staff retention, job satisfaction and productivity, as well as on children and young people’s engagement and achievement.
The Be You website offers practical resources like learning modules and wellbeing plans which can be used by educators, pre-service educators, and Schools, along with examples of good educator wellbeing practice, Fact Sheets, and posters with strategies to support wellbeing.
As a recent addition to the Educator Wellbeing resources, Be You has worked with subject matter experts, and leveraged current research, to develop Beyond Self-Care: An Educator Wellbeing Guide. The Guide provides schools, education leaders and educators with tools, actions, activities and examples of good educator wellbeing practice to build a thriving workplace.
In addition, a number of implementation sessions are included in the Be You initiative, with a variety of wellbeing topics covered, along with sessions which support the understanding and normalisation of educator wellbeing.
How do you get started with Be You?
Step 1: Register with Be You as an individual
It’s easy to get started with Be You. Go to beyou.edu.au and click Register. Individual registration is open to educators and leaders working in early learning services or schools, as well as those in preservice or training. If you need more information, you can download the PDF handbook from the Get Started page.
Step 2: Appoint Action Team Leaders
Create an Action Team at your early learning service or school. Action Team members will be the champions of mental health and wellbeing in your community.
You’ll need some Action Team Leaders. They can be anyone from your learning community who is passionate about supporting mental health and wellbeing.
Step 3: Register your learning community
Registering your early learning service or school as a Be You learning community gives you access to:
- a national network of Consultants
- additional tools and resources
- invitations to Be You Events.
Your Action Team Leader will then be contacted by a Be You Consultant to assist with the implementation of Be You at your early learning service or school.
Step 4: Be You Consultant support
Your Action Team Leader will be then contacted by a Be You Consultant to assist with the implementation of Be You at your early learning service or school.
Take the next step towards building Australia’s most mentally healthy generation. Register yourself and your learning community with Be You today. It’s free, flexible and accredited.