One of Australia's private health insurance providers has teamed up with a leading mental health body to deliver to a unique education program to high school students.
The Black Dog Institute – along with health fund nib – have developed the package, which aims to equip teachers to better understand and help young people with mental health issues.
A $500,000 grant from nib foundation will enable the Black Dog Institute to train 1,500 high school teachers in the HeadStrong initiative – reaching 90,000 student over the next three years.
Rural and remote schools will be the initial focus and topics such as mood disorders, coping strategies, finding the right help and the benefits of good therapy will be discussed.
Terry Lawler, nib foundation chairman, said he supported the national expansion of HeadStrong following a successful pilot of the program in New South Wales.
"By providing students with an increased knowledge of mood disorders, their symptoms as well as how and when to seek help, the aim of the program is to help reduce the impact of mood disorders on young people leading to an improvement in their overall health and wellbeing," he said.
The rollout will begin in NSW and Queensland this year, with a national implementation to be completed by 2014.