Through analysis of data collected by BGKLLEN from local schools in the Bayside, Glen Eira and Kingston area, it became significantly apparent that the students going to schools in our region are concerned about their stress and anxiety levels. This finding guided the BGKLLEN team to make plans to help reduce the stress and anxiety students are experiencing. It is known that anxiety disorders seriously impair a student’s ability to learn and take in new information. This is due to the impact on the parts of the brain that are responsible for concentration, decision making and problem solving, which are diminished when under stress.
With a clear goal to help reduce the extent of the anxiety being experienced by students, BGKLLEN partnered with the Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria to collaborate and develop a Teacher Resource Kit on Managing Stress and Anxiety in 2008. The kit was lunched by Member for Mordialloc, Tim Richardson MP, to 200 students and parents of Parkdale Secondary School. This resource kit can be downloaded and implemented by teachers to build students’ awareness of stress and anxiety, along with, exploring strategies to equip students with effective management techniques. These consist of Learning to SURF (Stop, Understand, Reflect, Focus), Breathing, meditation, Grounding and Mindfulness.
Upon the release of the Stress and Anxiety Teacher Resource Kit, there was great interest and eagerness by teachers to start utilising the kit. The BGKLLEN team wanted to keep the momentum of the use of the kit continuing and with the arrival of new team member, Cazzie, coming from a teaching background and who has a passion for student health and wellbeing, BGKLLEN saw a great opportunity to roll out class sessions based on the resource kit to local Secondary schools.
In Term 1 and 2, Cazzie, alongside Renee from the Anxiety Recovery Centre, ran school sessions at Kilbreda College in Mentone. Working with half the year 7s and 8s each, Cazzie and Renee facilitated the sessions with great success. The feedback from these students was positive and showed that the young women had gained some effective strategies to use in their everyday lives to help them manage their stress and anxiety.
From there, Cazzie will now be continuing to facilitate the Stress and Anxiety School Sessions throughout Term 3. She will also be working with the school counsellors to identify other areas of needs in the mental health of students to, possibly, create more school sessions to further help young people and their mental health and wellbeing.
Cazzie is passionate and eager to facilitate the stress and anxiety schools sessions throughout the local schools in the Bayside, Glen Eira and Kingston area.