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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools


The MindMatters resource uses a whole-school approach to promoting mental health and preventing suicide. The program aims to enhance the development of school environments where young people feel safe, valued, engaged and purposeful. MindMatters is designed to help school communities to take action in creating a positive climate of mental and physical health within secondary schools. The materials contained in this resource provide teachers with authoritative information and practical planning strategies to promote and protect the mental health of members of school communities. It includes curriculum materials for use in a range of key learning areas, a professional development program and a web site for ongoing support.

What's in the resource?

This section provides an overview of the books and curriculum materials in the MindMatters resource kit. These books and curriculum materials are listed below.


A closer examination of the contents of the resource kit and the opportunity to download a PDF copy are provided.

School matters: Mapping and managing mental health in schools 

This overarching document provides schools with a framework and planning tools to assist them with possible structures, strategies, partnerships and curriculum programs to promote and protect the mental health of all members of the school community.

Enhancing resilience 1: Communication, changes and challenges 

The curriculum units are designed to enhance resilience via the promotion of communication, participation, positive self-regard, teamwork and a sense of belonging and connectedness to school. They are particularly useful with new groups.

Enhancing resilience 2: Stress and coping 

This booklet guides schools in their focus on enhancing the resilience and connectedness of their students. It is targeted at middle to senior secondary students and deals with the importance of providing ongoing opportunities for participation and communication, creating a positive school culture, friendly relationships, and valuing school and community. The two booklets address issues of coping with stress and challenge, help-seeking, peer support, stress-management, and goal setting.

A whole-school approach to dealing with bullying and harassment 

This booklet guides schools in their attempts to take a whole school approach to dealing with bullying and harassment. A comprehensive check list to guide policy and practice is included. Three curriculum units, targeted at junior secondary school students, are provided for use in the Health, English and Drama class.

Understanding mental illness 

This document provides an overview of the issues a school may face in relation to mental illness among students, staff and families. It includes a curriculum unit, aimed at middle to senior secondary students, that intends to increase students' understanding of mental illness, reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems, and increase help-seeking behaviours. A video accompanies this curriculum unit, and this is also relevant for considering mental illness and stigma with any school audience.

Loss and grief 

Issues of loss and grief have been linked to depression, and traditionally such issues have been under-explored in schools. This document provides an overview of school practices relevant to dealing with death and loss within the school, including a sequence of lessons for junior, middle and senior secondary school students.

Community Matters

CommunityMatters: Working with diversity for wellbeing addresses how schools, in partnerships with their diverse communities, can approach mental health promotion in a holistic way. The resource aims to assist schools to enhance mental health protective factors and student social and emotional wellbeing.

Staff Matters

The Staff Matters resource provides information and professional development ideas for staff health and wellbeing. The resources on the site take a universal and health literacy approach within the educational working context.

Check out the web site 

The MindMatters program is supported by a web site which provides PDF files of the resources, links to state and territory curriculum frameworks and an annotated bibliography of resources and professional development materials.





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