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C4 Module 4.8

Building support pathways

Before You Begin

What health and community services do you know of that could support your school?

Schools can increase their capacity to help students struggling with mental health difficulties by identifying appropriate referral pathways to external health and community services.

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Students benefit when schools build external mental health support pathways – but how are these achieved?

Be aware of school, health and community services

Schools want to achieve the best outcomes for their students, but often struggle when trying to support individual students experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties to get the help they need and to remain engaged in their schooling.

By being aware of available referral options, schools can facilitate appropriate supports for young people. By linking together and mobilising resources, schools and community services can then achieve significant positive outcomes for young people.

Engage with local services to support MindMatters implementation

Effective working relationships between schools and local services and organisations are generally achieved when the respective parties:
  • are clear of the goals and responsibilities of each party
  • engage in activities to help each service understand the perspective of the other
  • have realistic expectations of each other and what can and cannot be undertaken
  • have an appreciation (and some empathy) of the pressures each other faces
  • have clear points of contact between respective organisations who can troubleshoot any difficulties.

What are some key organisations and services?

While some communities have more access to services than others, when schools explore what’s available they may identify more services or become more aware of, and make better use of, existing services such as:

School procedures for referral pathways

To effectively assist students’ and families’ access to services, schools need robust referral policies and processes that are relatively simple to follow. These policies and processes will be unique to each school and determined by a range of factors including access to services, cultural diversity and available internal supports.

What steps could schools take to help build engagement and relationships with external health and community service providers?

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NEXT STEPS

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FURTHER RESOURCES