headspace Day 2021 at headspace Wollongong

October 6th is headspace Day! This year the theme is small steps start big things.

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Taking regular, small actions that form healthy habits can help people to manage stress or anxiety. Over time, these can build up to form healthy habits. So, this headspace day, we are encouraging young people to take small steps for their mental health and wellbeing.

We are encouraging young people to create some time and space to focus on the things they love. Spending 5 or 10 minutes each day on something that helps them to slow down a little, create a routine, connect with someone or take a moment to breathe. Some small steps to start big things.

About “small steps start big things”

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headspace day is a National Day of Support for the mental health and wellbeing of all young Australians.

Many young people are facing a disconnection from study and work, social isolation and a general sense of fatigue – whether it be COVID-related, screen time or a sense of missing out on life’s experiences. Disconnection can lead to feelings of isolation, a lack of motivation, increased anxiety and depression.

Finding a sense of purpose during these challenging times helps people feel connected and can have a positive impact on young people’s mental health.

However, during times like these, taking time to focus on those things that give young people a sense of purpose and support their mental health and wellbeing can be a challenge. Many may find it hard to focus on their head space.

We get it and we want young people to know that small steps start big things.

Taking regular, small actions that form healthy habits can manage feelings of isolation, lack of motivation, anxiety or stress. So, this headspace day, we are encouraging young people to take small steps for their mental health and wellbeing.

We are encouraging young people to create some time and space to focus on the things they love. Spending 5 to 10 mins each day on something that helps them to slow down a little, create a routine, connect with someone or take a moment to breathe. Some small steps to start big things.

We are encouraging young people to find the small steps that work for them – whether it is finding a regular time to read something interesting, take a walk with friends, plant a herb garden or jot down their thoughts.

Remember, small steps start big things.

 

Tips for a healthy headspace

Our seven tips for a healthy headspace are:

1. get into life

2. learn skills for tough times

3. get enough sleep

4. create connections

5. eat well

6. stay active

7. cut back on alcohol and other drugs. Find out more at: headspace.org.au/tips

You can print out simple activities to use with young people which explore each of these tips here. They are also available in Arabic and Swahili.

 

Questions and answers

Who does this headspace day target and why?

· headspace day targets all young people aged 12 – 25 years.

· Today, young people are facing a unique set of life challenges; things like study transition, unemployment and not seeing friends and family can make it hard for them to stay in a positive state of mind.

· Many are facing a general sense of fatigue, whether it be COVID-related, screen time or a sense of missing out.

· We want young people to know that small steps start big things, and they can take whatever steps suit them to support their mental health and wellbeing.

· Now more than ever, we are working with the reality of the mental health challenges young people are facing and it is important that we provide inspiration, knowledge and optimism through ongoing engagement and action.

 

What if a young person is feeling alone or doesn’t feel they have support?

· If a young person feels alone and wants to reach out, they can seek help through headspace either face-to-face, online or via phone.

· Experiencing mental health difficulties alone can be challenging.

· Finding a trusted person in your life like a family member or friend, teacher, coach, etc. to share your challenges is a good first step. Or try reaching out for professional support.

 REFERRAL TO HEADSPACE WOLLONGONG HERE

What is the practical advice you can offer to a family and friends who wants to encourage their young person to actively maintain their mental health?

· Start having conversations about mental health and wellbeing and emphasising it’s normal to have ups and downs. That everyone looks after their wellbeing in different ways.

· Remember, if you feel like you’ve missed some opportunities to talk, it is always ok to start later.

· Get familiar with the seven tips for a healthy headspace and help to educate your young person on these.

· You could encourage your young person to create some time and space in their day or week to focus on their wellbeing and to make it routine.

· Be a role-model, show your young person that you work on your mental health and wellbeing by actively doing some of the seven tips or creating a family routine.

· For practical tips on how understand the warning signs young people might show or get informed about how to speak with your child about mental health and wellbeing visit: headspace.org.au.

 

What is the practical advice you can offer to young people who might feel disconnected from or worried about study?

· With the stop/start of COVID-19 and the rapid shift to online education it can be easy to feel disconnected from school. These changes can make us worry if we don’t understand the work or anxious about the workload.

· It can be hard to feel connected to friends or find motivation to do work.

· For individuals who have recently moved schools or transitioned from primary to secondary school or secondary school to tertiary education they might be finding the transition challenging, like they are missing out on new experiences or not being able to make new friends.

· So, what can young people at school do to manage these feelings? Here are some small steps that can start something bigger:

• Join a group – drama, music, sport – it doesn’t matter what as long as they enjoy it.

• Take breaks when you are studying – kick the footy with a friend or go for a bike ride – but 5-10 minutes away from schoolwork can help young people to re-energise.

• Scribble, doodle or jot down thoughts to release some tension.

• Chat with their friends and family about what they do / did at high school if they were feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

· Everyone can benefit from a good night sleep and regular sleep routine. This can help with study too – encouraging young people to go to bed at the same time and set that alarm each day at the same time and get up at that time.

· Regular snacking – fruit, veggie sticks and the occasional chocolate bar – will also help give young people the energy they need to focus in class, whether that’s online or not.

For more ideas on supporting young people to take positive steps for their wellbeing, check out our Take A Step campaign, co-designed with young people from First Nations communities across Australia.

 

 

Ideas to get your students involved

There’s a range of support and simple ways for you to get your students involved and starting to learn and think about their mental health and wellbeing.

a. healthy headspace action plan

The healthy headspace action plan below can be used as an individual activity in class (online or face-to-face) with young people to start them learning about tactics to manage their mental health and wellbeing and thinking about what small steps they could take.

 link HERE

b. healthy headspace bingo

Check out this downloadable (HERE) PDF bingo pack and play some bingo in class – this can be done online or face-to-face.

The bingo “numbers” (i.e., 7 healthy headspace tips ideas) that you can use for some online bingo fun. There’ll be 10 bingo cards for participants.

 

How do you run healthy headspace bingo?

1. Inject some fun by having a theme: dress up or ask people to choose their favourite filter.

2. Share a bingo card to each participant or groups of two, before you start (10 bingo cards provided)

3. Add some fun and education by:

a. sharing some short 30sec bingo videos from YouTube to break the game up

b. ask people to demonstrate some of the healthy headspace actions that are part of the bingo

c. ask people to have a noise or action that they need to make when they get a “number”

d. spilt into breakouts and give people random questions to discuss

e. encourage people to keep their videos on and use the reactions and chat to get involved and stay noisy

4. Run bingo.

a. Use can use a google ‘random number generator’

b. Set the minimum to 1 and the maximum to be the maximum number of your game.

c. Hit ‘generate’ and go, repeat until someone has a full card

d. Remember, write down the numbers that have been called so you can cross-check them when a winner is announced.

5. Award a prize for the winner

6. Take some photos.

 

Ideas to show your school’s support

The support shown by schools to young people in helping build their confidence and take small steps to manage their mental health and wellbeing is vital.

We ask you to show your support by:

a. Inspiring your students and their families by sharing small steps tips on your social media channels using #headspacetips.

b. Educating your students and their families by sharing small steps information in your school newsletter or via your intranet or website.

c. Encouraging teachers to use the zoom background showing your support when teaching students online.

We’ve outlined some social posts to help, and you can use the messages in this pack for content for your newsletter.

Remember, headspace is here to support schools with content and education tools if required. Most importantly, local headspace services are here to support young people learn tactics to manage their mental health and wellbeing.

 

Social posts

Here’s some recommended posts.

Facebook / Instagram - general support

Let’s show our support for young people across Australia by letting them know small steps start big things, and encouraging them to take small steps that are right for their mental health and wellbeing. You can get involved by visiting headspace.org.au/smallsteps to see 7 simple tips you can do at school or home, to help build and maintain your mental health and wellbeing. #headspacetips

 

Facebook / Instagram - specific

At [INSERT YOUR SCHOOL NAME], we know that small steps start big things for mental health and wellbeing. That’s why we encourage our teachers and students to [INSERT BEHAVIOUR]. We encourage our school community to take time to focus on your mental health and wellbeing and take the small steps that are right for you. You can learn more and get involved at headspace.org.au/smallsteps. #headspacetips

 

Behaviour ideas:

· stay active

· talk with each other and share stories

· carry a notepad to jot dot down thoughts

· switch off once a week and find a way to relax

· have some phone-free time, like at the dinner table.

Remember, use #headspacetips in your posts.

* Looking for an image for your post? Download images and social media tiles at headspace.org.au/images