Nyangatjatjara College has worked with the MindMatters secondary school mental health program for a number of years, in a variety of ways. MindMatters aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people "based on the principle that the best mental health strategy is one that prevents issues from arising in the first place."
MindMatters was initially introduced to the College through the Keeping Safe project in 2010. From 2012-13 a MindMatters Youth and Community Partnerships Officer operated on site from central campus at Yulara. MindMatters resources have long been included in classroom learning, delivered in both English and Pitjantjatjara. Our school has used a MindMatters implementation model as a way to organise and support planning across the College and community, with partnerships strengthened as a result, particularly with health clinics. Data have been collected through a partnership with Ninti One which delivered and collated student wellbeing surveys in language.
Senior students have completed units of work towards their Year 11 certificate working on MindMatters material. Several students have travelled to Adelaide to work intensively with the MindMatters team, as well as working interactively online. Near the end of 2014 and again in mid-2015 Anangu students from all our secondary campuses as well as others from Ngaanyatjarra lands and the APY Lands worked on further units of work which provide credits towards their NTCET/SACE/WACE certificates.
Our commitment to the program was underlined when we were invited to Canberra several years ago for a ceremony at Parliament House recognising MindMatters schools. Some of our students addressed that National Recognition Event, along with our Principal/CEO.