Beyond the Bell identifies social and emotional wellbeing as a key health issue

Students and young people perform at their best when they are socially and emotionally well, which is why a regional framework is being developed. 

Community members are invited to have a say on how to improve young people’s social and emotional wellbeing at a forum on Thursday.

Beyond the Bell, a group aiming to improve education outcomes, has identified social and emotional wellbeing as one of its key health issues and is working with South West Primary Care Partnership (South West PCP) to develop a community approach. 

Proactive: A social and emotional wellbeing framework is being developed to help the region's young people reach their potential.

Proactive: A social and emotional wellbeing framework is being developed to help the region's young people reach their potential.

The session will explore existing frameworks and aims to create a co-ordinated approach to wellbeing activities.

Beyond the Bell chair Francis Broekman said it was a challenging era for children, families and schools and a framework would help young people reach their potential. 

“There is pressure for young people to perform well academically, as well as keeping up with sporting, social and family commitments,” he said.  

“Statistics show that the prevalence of mental illness is growing and children are becoming vulnerable at a younger age. Often, we are not equipped to deal with the social, emotional and behavioural issues that our young people and communities struggle with.”

He said there were many services and supports available and the framework wasn’t about reinventing the wheel. “With so many influences in our lives including schools, workplaces, early years services and sporting clubs, a community-wide approach is needed in order to make a positive impact on the wellbeing and resilience of our young people,” Mr Broekman said.

“As a community, we are really interested in building the potential of our children and young people. One way to achieve this is by creating opportunities across the whole community to shape their social and emotional wellbeing.” 

South West PCP executive officer Mark Brennan said it was a common issue and interest from groups, including the Fight For Your Life suicide prevention strategy demonstrated a keen community interest. “We’re looking at places where people engage and form relationships and meaning around their social and emotional wellbeing,” Mr Brennan said.  

“We’re getting behind this identified need through Beyond the Bell and schools; the Department of Education has identified it as an area they want to work on. It’s a new area so we’re looking at what does that mean and how do we work on it together.”

To register call Lynda Smith at South West PCP on 5564 5807.