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Building Resilience in Children and Young People Help-Seeking Teacher Professional Development
Help-seeking • Why teach help-seeking? • Help-seeking is a coping strategy that involves seeking technical, instrumental, social or emotional support from other people • Help-seeking behaviour of children and young people is fundamental to their mental health and wellbeing • Encouraging and fostering help-seeking behaviours through school-based programs is one way to improve their mental health and wellbeing (Rickwoodet al. 2005)
Help-seeking • Help-seeking Patterns Young people are more likely to use informal rather than formal sources of help, even with serious problems such as suicidal ideation Females seek help more readily than males Males are more likely to seek help from parents than from other sources Mothers are frequently used as source of help by adolescents - this challenges assumptions about the generation divide Higher SES and education levels are associated with higher levels of help-seeking (Rickwood et al. 2005; Kuhl, Horlick and Morrisey 1997)
Help-seeking • Common Barriers to Help-seeking lack of trust in others fear of burdening others fear that situation will become worse if known shame embarrassment guilt believing one should cope on one’s own lack of knowledge about support services available inaccessible services lack of culturally appropriate services
Help-seeking • Help-seeking and Mental Health Problems • Few young people seek help from formal sources for mental health problems (Ciarrochi, Deane, Wilson, & Rickwood, 2002; Wilson, Deane, & Ciarrochi 2005) • In one Australian study only 2% of 4-16 year olds with mental health problems had been in touch with a professional service in the previous 6 months (Rickwood et al. 2005) • In another study between 3 and 13% of children and adolescents with mental health problems had received professional help in the previous 6 months (Sawyer et al. 2000) • It is the young people who most need help who are the least likely to seek it (Lazarus 1991; Rickwood et al. 2005)
Help-seeking • Data from Mental Health Report, 2014 • In 2013, 14,461 young people aged 15-19 years participated in Mission Australia’s Youth Survey • The survey used a widely accepted measure of non-specific psychological distress known as the Kessler 6 (K6) which consists of a six-item scale that asks about experiences of anxiety and depressive symptoms during the past four weeks • The K6 (a widely accepted measure of mental illness) was used to classify Youth Survey respondents into two groups • those with a ‘probable serious mental illness’ • those with ‘no probable serious mental illness’ • Just over one fifth (21.2%) of young people aged 15 -19 who responded to the survey met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness, ranging from 19.4% for 19 year olds to 21.5% for 15 year olds • Females were almost twice as likely as males to meet criteria for having a probable serious mental illness (26.2% compared to 13.8%) Mission Australia 2014
Females with a probable serious mental illness Coping with stress 77.9% School or study problems 66.0% Body image 65.9% Depression 59.8% Males with a probable serious mental illness: Coping with stress 54.9% Depression49.7% School or study problems 49.4% Body image 32.9% • Help-seeking • Top concerns – higher distress levels for females than males Mission Australia 2014
Help-seeking • Lower help-seeking comfort for those in most need • When compared with than those without a probable serious mental illness, young people with a probable serious mental illness are substantially more uncomfortable seeking information, advice or support from: • Parents (32.8% compared to 10.3%) • Relatives/family friends: 34.3% compared to 14.5% • Teachers: 49.6% compared to 29.2% Friends and the internet are the top sources of information, advice or support that young people, both with and without a probable serious mental illness go to Mission Australia 2014
Help-seeking • Gender and Help-seeking • 60% of male and female respondents with a probable serious mental illness felt uncomfortable accessing help from: • a telephone hotline 69.5% • a community agency 60.2% • online counselling services 61.7% • Males with a probable serious mental illness were more uncomfortable than females in seeking information, advice and support from: • friends (18.3% compared to 11.4%) • the internet (21.7% compared to 13.6%) • magazines (50.5% compared to 36.2%) Mission Australia 2014
Help-seeking • Those who most need help are the least likely to seek it • Adolescents (16-18) low in emotional awareness are the least likely to seek help from friends/family and most likely to refuse help from anyone • University students who are least skilled at managing their emotions have the lowest intention of seeking help from family and friends • Those with low emotional competence are less likely to say they would seek help from professionals (Ciarrochi et al. 2002)
Help-seeking • Help-Seeking at School • Research suggests that young people are reluctant to seek help from teachers (Mazzer & Rickwood 2013; Rickwood et al. 2005) • Students are more likely to seek help from those teachers they can trust, and who they find to be friendly and non-judgmental (Cahill & Coffey 2013; Mazzer & Rickwood 2013; Rickwood et al. 2005; Rughani, Deane, & Wilson 2011) • Positive relationships can therefore play a protective role for students
Help-seeking • Activities in the Help-seeking Lessons aim to assist students to: Foundation • Identify people and situations with which they feel a sense of belonging • Identify situations that feel safe and unsafe • Identity when and from whom help can be sought • Practice solving simple interpersonal problems • Identify ways to care for others, including ways of making and keeping friends • Discuss the importance of seeking help when dealing with problems that are too big to solve alone • Practice seeking help from adults and peers • Identify communication skills that enhance peer support and help-seeking • Identify a range of conflict resolution and help-seeking strategies to negotiate positive outcomes to problems • Discuss the concept of leadership and identify situations where it is appropriate to adopt this role • Describe and apply strategies that can be used in situations that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe • Identify situations in which they should seek help in working through problems • Identify a list of trusted people to seek out when needing help • Normalise and de-stigmatise help-seeking behaviour • Contribute to groups and teams • Identify enablers and barriers to achieving goals • Identify indicators of possible problems in relationships in a range of situations • Analyse enablers of and barriers to effective verbal, non-verbal and digital communication in help-seeking situations • Evaluate, rethink and refine approaches to tasks to take account of unexpected or difficult situations and safety considerations • Reflect critically on their emotional responses to challenging situations in a range of contexts • Formulate plans for effective communication (verbal, non-verbal, digital) to complete complex tasks • Devise and enact strategies for working in diverse teams, drawing on the skills and contributions of others to complete complex tasks • Propose, implement and monitor strategies to address identified needs Yr 9/10
Help-seeking • Example Learning Activities • 1. Help-seeking role-plays • Work in pairs or trios. Choose one of the three Can you help me?scenarios • Design and prepare a help-seeking role-play • Explain how you feel • Name the problem • Make a request for help • Watch the role-plays and ask: • Have they named the problem? • Have they got their message across clearly? • What else could they do or say? CAN YOU HELP ME? Scenario 1: Your parent didn’t arrive to pick you up after school. Scenario 2: A friend is trying to force you to do something that you know is wrong. Scenario 3: You’ve been away sick and don’t know how to do the new Maths problems. This activity is adapted from the Level 3-4 Building Resilience learning materials (Topic 6: Help-seeking, Activity 5)
Help-seeking • Example Learning Activities • 2a. Assessing when to ask for adult help • Level 5-6 Scenario: • In small groups, respond to the following scenario: • What is the problem? • Who could you ask for help? • What could you say? Your friend has started going to the sickbay a lot with headaches. She told you in secret that she is feeling very upset because her parents are fighting and she thinks they are going to split up. This has been stopping her from sleeping properly at night. She asked you to promise not to tell anyone. This activity is adapted from the Level 3-4 Building Resilience learning materials (Topic 6: Help-seeking, Activity 5)
Help-seeking • Example Learning Activities • 2b. Assessing when to ask for adult help • Level 7-8 Scenario: • In small groups, respond to the following scenario: • What could you say to this person? • How could you use a friend as a source of help? • How could you use an adult as a source of help? • How could you use a teacher as a source of help? • How could you use a parent as a source of help? • What can someone do in this situation to seek help themself? A lot of people in the class tease one of the other students because of the way he looks. You don’t like this and you can see it really gets to this person, even though he tries to laugh it off. You want it to stop. This activity is adapted from the Level 7-8 Building Resilience learning materials (Topic 6: Help-seeking, Activity 2)
Help-seeking • Example Learning Activities • 2c. Assessing when to ask for adult help • Level 9-10 Scenario: • In small groups, respond to the following scenario: • Is this serious? • Should George talk to someone else about this? • Should his friends talk to someone about this? Who? • What might happen if nobody takes action? George has started missing school a lot and is falling behind with his work. He stays home to look after his mum who is suffering from depression and recovering from a problem relating to alcohol use. He has not told his friends what is wrong with his mum, but they know he has some kind of home duties. His friends notice that the teachers think he is just wagging.
Help-seeking • REFLECT • What are some sources of help for you as a teacher around lesson planning, classroom management or general wellbeing issues? • How do you model help-seeking behaviour to your students? • How do you respond to help-seeking behaviour from your students? • How do you encourage students to provide help to each other? • How do you encourage students to seek your assistance and each other’s assistance in the classroom? • What do you do to help students to develop supportive peer relationships?
Help-seeking • Useful Links • Kidshelplinewww.kidshelp.com.au/ • Reachoutwww.au.reachout.com/ • Beyond blue www.beyondblue.org.au/ • Headspace www.headspace.org.au/ • Get Ready (drug education resources) http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/health/Pages/drugedulearn.aspx • Catching on Early and Catching on Later (Sexuality Education resources) http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/social/physed/Pages/resources.aspx
Help-seeking • References • Cahill, Helen, & Coffey, Julia. (2013). Young people and the Learning Partnerships program. Youth Studies Australia, 32(4). • Ciarrochi, Deane et al, 2002, Adolescents who need help the most are the least likely to seek it: the relationship between low emotional competence and low intention to seek help, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Vol. 30, Iss. 2, p173 • Kuhl, Horlick and Morrisey, 1997, Measuring Barriers to help-seeking behaviour in adolescents, Journal of Youth And Adolescence, Vol. 26, iss. 6, p 637-651 • Mazzar, K., & Rickwood, D. (2013). Teachers' role breadth and perceived efficacy in supporting student mental health. Canberra: Universite of Canberra. • Mission Australia Youth Mental Health report of Young Australians June 2014 http://www.missionaustralia.com.au • Rickwood, D.J., 1995, The effectiveness of seeking help for coping with personal problems in late adolescence, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 24, Iss. 6, pp. 685 • Rickwood, D., Deane, F. P., Coralie, J. W., & Ciarrochi, J. (2005). Young people’s help-seeking for mental health problems. Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH), 4(3), 1-34. • Rughani, Janaki, Deane, Frank P., & Wilson, Coralie J. (2011). Rural adolescents' help-seeking intentions for emotional problems: The influence of perceived benefits and stoicism. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 19(2), 64-69