School-Based Programs

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.

The Department of Education will roll out the YAM training to all Department of Education high schools on the Central Coast. School link (Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service) are rolling out the YAM program to independent schools.

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 (see program structure below).

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.

When will YAM be available for my school?

YAM will be delivered to high schools on the Central Coast during Semester 1 & 2 in 2020.

Who can I contact to discuss YAM?

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


Strategy Summary – School-based Programs

This brochure provides community members with a summary of the evidence, what is happening and how you can get involved.

Promoting Help-seeking, Mental Health, and Resilience in Schools

This brochure provides community members evidence supporting the recommended interventions in LifeSpan.