Building resilience in our young people.

In Australia, 70% of mental illness and suicidal behaviours begin between the ages of 12-25 years.

Through the delivery of structured, evidence-based programs, schools provide an effective way of promoting mental health, resilience and help-seeking amongst young people.

The Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) program has the strongest evidence-base including the best outcomes specific to suicidal behaviour, and the flexibility to be integrated into any school environment.

What is YAM?

YAM is a program aimed at addressing the mental health needs of young people, that involves discussion and role play. It aims to get young people involved and talking about mental health. By doing this, young people will learn problem solving skills and gain knowledge about mental health.

Who is YAM for?

All Year 9 students in the Central Coast.

What will students learn?

YAM covers 6 main topic areas:

  • What is mental health?
  • Self-help advice
  • Stress and crisis
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Helping a friend in need
  • Who can I ask for advice?

The role-play sessions cover three themes respectively:

  • everyday choices and the outcome of one’s actions,
  • becoming aware of one’s feelings and how to manage stress and crisis situations,
  • listening to others and speaking about depression and suicidal thoughts.

How will YAM be delivered in our school?

YAM includes five sessions which are run over the three weeks. It is delivered in the classroom setting (up to 30 students) by accredited trainers external to the school.

The five sessions include three role-play sessions at the core, backed by one opening and one closing session that all rely heavily on the students’ participation.

What resources do students receive?

Students will be issued with a booklet to keep. The booklet outlines course content and includes a list of support services within the local area.

Who can I contact to discuss YAM?

If you are interested in knowing more about YAM please get in touch with:

Black Dog Institute is the licence holder of YAM in Australia and delivers YAM Instructor Training. Training will be made available to organisations wishing to train a YAM Instructor workforce.

What is School-Link?

School-Link is the link between the Central Coast Local Health District and the Educational settings of the Central Coast. Our primary focus is on early intervention by supporting school communities.

School-Link supports educational settings to recognise and respond appropriately to young people with emerging mental health problems and/or in a mental health crisis. School-Link strives to build strong connections with schools and support their ongoing practice through the following actions:

  • Providing mental health information and clinical guidance to promote understanding, strengthen collaborative practice, and improve access to appropriate supportive services.
  • Liaise with school staff via the School-Link consultation line.
  • Mental Health Literacy is addressed by providing information on a range of training/workshop activities for both teachers and students. Education is aimed at promoting mental health and well-being and decreasing stigma.

Contact School-Link
Lisa Foster 0434 324 604 or 43941700 Central Coast North
Janice Simpson 0434 193 139 or 43047878 Central Coast South
Office hours 8:00am-4.30 pm Monday to Friday.