headspace’s three simple steps to start the conversation about mental health

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation’s NIP it in the Bud framework provides three simple steps for starting the conversation about mental health with someone who may be having a tough time.

NIP is an early intervention framework developed by headspace to help educators identify mental health concerns and provide or seek the appropriate help. NIP stands for:

  • Notice
  • Inquire
  • Provide

Head of headspace Schools & Communities, Kristen Douglas, said while the program is designed for schools, it provides everyone with a simple way to instigate a check in chat.

“Whether you're a young person, a parent, a professional, or someone who's running a Sports Club, NIP it in the Bud is for everyone to use.

“N stands for notice. This is the stage where you may notice that someone's not acting like themselves, or you might just have a gut feeling that they aren’t okay.

“I stands for inquire. You may want to ask the person if they are okay or try and gather more information about what is going on in their life.

“Finally, P stands for provide. Sometimes it's as simple as providing a hug, listening, or checking in. Other times, you might need to offer them guidance towards a service or a professional for support.

“NIP it in the Bud is really simple, and it's one of the best ways that we can get young people support early. The earlier we can work with and support that person, the better we can respond and get them back on track.”

headspace has created a suite of resources for educators promoting the NIP it in the bud framework, which is designed to help spot changes in a young person’s behaviour, and then provide the necessary support to help get them back on track.

The campaign provides posters, fact sheets, and social media assets that cover four areas in a young person's life that they may need support with. These are identity, relationships, social media, and the future.

The resources are also there to encourage help-seeking behaviour in young people, and assure them that there is help out there, whether that be through their school or contacting a professional service such as headspace.

The NIP it in the bud recourses are freely available at the headspace website.

Young people aged 12 to 25, as well as their family and friends can visit headspace for support. Help is also available via phone and online counselling service, eheadspace, seven days a week between 9am–1am (AEST). The number is 1800 650 890.

If you’re looking for someone to talk to immediately, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.