FAQs

Need some help? You may find the answer in our frequently asked questions.

 


What is MindMatters?

MindMatters is a mental health initiative for secondary schools that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people. We call it a ‘framework’ in that it provides structure, guidance and support while enabling schools to build their own mental health strategy to suit their unique circumstances. MindMatters provides school staff with blended professional learning that includes online resources, face-to-face events, webinars and support. The use of MindMatters’ comprehensive resources has mental health benefits for the entire school community – including students, families and school staff.

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What are the MindMatters Spotlights?

MindMatters now includes information on a number of important topics, including bullying, suicide prevention, self-harm, and using technology for mental health and wellbeing. These new topics will provide schools with practical information, tips and guidance on how to implement strategies to address specific complex issues to suit individual schools’ unique circumstances. The Spotlight topics are based on issues that are increasingly important in secondary schools across Australia.

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How do I use the MindMatters Spotlights?

Schools can access the Spotlight topics on the MindMatters website, alongside the 20 online learning modules. Schools can select which Spotlights to use, based on their schools’ individual needs and there’s no need to complete them sequentially. Links are identified between the Spotlight topics and the MindMatters framework to support schools.

There are some specific considerations for school leaders to keep in mind when using the Spotlights professional learning with staff:

- Engaging staff, students and families: It is important for schools to consider the best ways to appropriately inform and collaborate with students and families to address the topics covered in the MindMatters Spotlights. School staff using the Spotlight professional learning need to consider the range of perspectives that students and families may bring to the topics. All engagement with young people about suicide and self-harm needs to be done by a trained healthcare professional.
- Sensitivities: Some topics may have particular sensitivities. MindMatters encourages schools to draw upon appropriate support to use the Spotlights effectively; you may consider arranging for a mental health professional, school counsellor or allied health professional to co-facilitate, lead sensitive discussions, or provide you with extra support.
- Professional development: MindMatters Spotlights can be used in flexible ways: as an individual, in small groups, as a faculty, as a whole staff, or as an action team. Unless otherwise stated, MindMatters Spotlights are not intended to be used with students and/or their families.

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Can the MindMatters Spotlights be used with students?

The MindMatters Spotlights are not designed for young people or to be used with students. The Spotlights are not intended to be used for group discussions with young people about suicide and self-harm, as these discussions require specialised training. Some Spotlights contain identified resources that school staff can share with students and families.

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What are the principles behind MindMatters? 

MindMatters is based on the principle that the best mental health strategy is one that prevents issues from arising in the first place. Promotion, prevention and early intervention are central tenets of the MindMatters approach. MindMatters aims to prevent mental health difficulties by taking steps to improve relationships and resilience in young people. It provides staff with practical advice and guidance to support students.

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Who is MindMatters for?

MindMatters helps school leadership, wellbeing staff and school staff. For school leaders, the MindMatters mental health framework informs the development of a whole school mental health strategy that’s right for your students and community. For wellbeing staff, MindMatters amplifies their mental health and wellbeing efforts by encouraging the whole school to work together. For school staff, free MindMatters online resources and professional learning empower staff with the knowledge and skills to recognise concerns and support young people.

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Where can I get one-on-one support?

Contact your local Principals Australia Institute (PAI) project officer for individual support. Your PAI officer will offer you step-by-step support and assistance to get started and during implementation of MindMatters at your school.

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What does MindMatters cost?

MindMatters is completely free! MindMatters’ participants have full access to all 20 professional online learning modules, resources, events and ongoing support.

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Is MindMatters evidence-based?

Yes. MindMatters professional learning and resources are based on the latest research. All content has been informed by evidence in the area of school mental health and wellbeing. Read more about the evidence that supports the MindMatters program.

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How do I get started?

Go to the MindMatters website
1. Create a free MindMatters account
2. Try a module. We recommend starting with Module 1.3 What is mental health?
3. Register for a MindMatters professional learning event or get in touch with your local Principals Australia Institute project officer.

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Do the modules need to be completed in order?

MindMatters gives school staff access to 20 online learning modules and information resources via the MindMatters website. Modules can be selected based on each school’s needs and don’t have to be completed sequentially.

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What's an Action Team?

An Action Team, led by a motivated Action Team Leader/s, can drive a MindMatters mental health strategy at your school. With access to special features and individual support, your team can make a real difference to student wellbeing, which will in turn, improve student engagement, academic achievement, social adjustment and staff morale.

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What's an Action Team Leader Account?

One person at each school can be set up with an Action Team Leader website account. The MindMatters website provides a range of special features created specifically for Action Team Leaders, including surveys for staff, students and families, and tools to track the progress of your school.
- Module progress: Provides an overview of online professional learning progress for the whole school.
- Survey tool: Provides the Action Team Leader with the means to survey staff, students and families, compare results against national averages and monitor a school’s progress over time.
- Group sessions: Update staff dashboards for sessions completed as a group.
- School profile: The Action Team Leader can monitor the school profile and update details with a simple click.

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How can I set up an Action Team Leader account?

In just two easy steps, you can activate your free Action Team Leader account today.
1. Have a go at the Getting Started module for an overview of MindMatters. It will give you step-by-step advice on how to set up an Action Team and how to develop strategies for integrating positive mental health and wellbeing into everyday policy and practice.
2. Contact a Principals Australia Institute project officer to activate your Action Team Leader account. You’ll gain immediate access to the entire range of extra features and receive individual support to implement MindMatters at your school.

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I've created an account, why can't I login?

Once you create a MindMatters account on the website you will receive an activation email. Click on the activation link in the email in order to login for the first time. If you do not receive the email, check your junk mail or spam folder as your account may have blocked the email. Some school IT systems have strict email filters which can block emails from some senders. If you use a school based email service and do not receive our emails, check with your IT team. If you still experience difficulties logging in after trying these fixes please get in touch with us for assistance.

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Why are the videos not working?

Videos may display an error message (or similar) when the play button is clicked. All videos on this website are hosted by YouTube. We use this service for its reliability and accessibility. Occasionally schools restrict access to YouTube. In this instance, we recommend talking to your IT team to get access to YouTube. All of our content can be accessed on mobile devices (average download 10mb).

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What is my dashboard?

My Dashboard is a handy tool to track your individual module progress and the progress of your school, and to print completion certificates for your records. Use the Next Steps tool to record what you’ll do next. You can also use the dashboard to edit your profile, contact your local project officer, refer to saved program guide resources, view your registered events and connect with Buddies around Australia. The My Dashboard button is located in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

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How do I get certificates for completed modules?

We email you a certificate automatically on completion of any of our modules. If you do not receive this email or have deleted it you can download your certificate at any time. Head to your personal dashboard and look for My Module Progress. Click on the green certificate icon next to any completed module to download your certificate.

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How long does each module take?

Each module takes around one hour to complete.  

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What is in a module?

The 20 MindMatters modules communicate the main concepts via:
- an animated clip
- a humorous ‘mockumentary’ video clip about fictional Eagleton High
- a panel of experts who debate the issues and provide informed insights
- interactive content with reflective questions, downloadable resources, classroom material, next steps and further resources.

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How can I download and/or print resources?

Each module has downloadable resources including a module overview, facilitator guide and fact sheets. These documents can be downloaded and saved as PDFs or printed. You can either click Download all fact sheets from this module or scroll down to Individual downloads. Further resources and related modules are shown at the end of each module.

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Where can I find more information on mental health programs available to schools?

The MindMatters program guide provides a comprehensive and searchable database of mental health programs available to Australian secondary schools. This comprehensive resource guide incorporates 62 programs and provides information about each program’s theoretical framework, structure and evidence of effectiveness. Search by key word or filter by topics, year level, MindMatters components or Australian curriculum units to find the right program for you.

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How does MindMatters align with the Australian Curriculum?

The Australian Curriculum sets consistent national standards to improve learning outcomes for all young Australians. It acknowledges the link between academic outcomes and mental health, and outlines schools’ responsibilities to teach mental, emotional and social health. Schools which apply a mental health and wellbeing framework, such as MindMatters, are well-placed to manage this shift towards a more holistic view of student health. MindMatters links with key areas within the Australian Curriculum.
- General capabilities: Personal and social capabilities, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social management
- Health and physical education: Personal, social and community health

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Can I use MindMatters for professional learning?

MindMatters modules each take about an hour to complete. In most cases, the modules can contribute towards annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for both teachers and principals. In the coming months, MindMatters will provide resources to support teachers and principals to a) gather evidence of participation, and b) cross reference the MindMatters modules against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the Australian Professional Standards for Principals.

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How can I stay up to date with the latest MindMatters news?

Social media: MindMatters is active on social media – connect with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn to stay in touch.
Newsletters: MindMatters publishes four newsletters a year in line with the school terms. To subscribe, scroll down to the bottom of the screen to the ‘Sign up to our newsletter’ box and enter your email address. Read the latest newsletters.
News: The MindMatters news page is regularly updated with the latest news and resources on mental health and wellbeing at school.

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What events do you offer?

Free professional learning events, conducted by Principals Australia Institute, are provided across Australia and via webinar throughout the year to help you get started and support you during implementation. To view the full list of national and local events, visit the events page. Once you are registered for an event, it will appear in your My events tab on the Dashboard screen.

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What is the survey tool?

How do you know what your school community wants from a mental health strategy? How do you know if your actions are making a difference? The MindMatters survey tool provides school leaders with the means to survey staff, students and families, compare results against national averages, and monitor your school’s progress.

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Where can I get immediate support for depression and anxiety?

MindMatters is a professional learning initiative and does not offer a support service for people experiencing distress. If you or someone you know needs support, mental health professionals are available at the beyondblue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or for online chat at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support (3pm-12am AEST) or email for a response within 24 hours. Or call Lifeline 13 11 44, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or Headspace 1800 650 890.

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