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Technology can empower young people to address their own mental health and wellbeing needs.

Technology is just part of life for young people

Young people today have grown up in a world where technology is a core part of their lives.

Helping students to help themselves

Generally students will already have the skills to find and engage with mental health resources and services on the internet.

Teachers can get involved

You don’t need to be a technology guru to get involved in using technology to support your students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Keeping up

With technology, everyone is always in ‘catch-up’ mode. By the time you think you are on top of it all there’s a bunch of new things happening.

Supporting students with mental health needs

Young people are accessing an ever increasing range of online services and resources to assist them with their emotional and behavioural problems.

Involving the whole school community

All school staff can play a role in promoting the use of technology to support students’ mental health and wellbeing across the whole school community.

Managing the risks

Schools have responsibilities related to safety and access when students are using technologies.

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Technology toolbox

This toolbox is an example of how a school might classify technology for mental health promotion.  Use this toolbox to explore the possibilities of how providing information, developing skills and supporting online communications can improve mental health.

To view an accessible version click here, link View technology toolbox PDF.

Information - for me

Technology can help you with a whole range of things to keep you healthy and informed – from managing your own family, building your professional knowledge, or knowing where to go to get help when you need it. Here are some ideas:

  • explore strategies to improve your wellbeing at home and work
  • connect to some professional learning networks
  • access information that can make a big difference for you and your family and learn the latest thinking in mental health and wellbeing.




Information - for students

Young people today are used to getting information from the internet about things that matter to them. When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, they may need some guidance to find the most appropriate resources, which could include:

  • information and fact sheets on topics that can be tricky to ask school staff or adults about
  • online courses to manage challenges such as anxiety or depression
  • tips to improve or manage relationships.




Information - for schools

It can be hard to find and interpret the best evidence-based information to share with students, colleagues and families. Technology can play a central role by: 

  • helping staff to gain the professional learning they need 
  • providing access to factsheets and information for sharing with students and families
  • keeping staff up to date on important issues such as suicide prevention providing templates and tools for communicating and working with students and families.




Practice - for students

Young people can help themselves get through some of the tough times in adolescence by learning and practicing useful skills and habits. There’s a wide range of apps out there that can help build these positive approaches by helping young people to:

  • develop resilience and coping skills
  • track and manage their mood and thoughts
  • improve their learning and communication skills
  • track physical health, including sleep, movement and nutrition.




Practice - for schools

Although it is an emerging area, schools can use personal development apps in the classroom as part of a mental health promotion and prevention strategy. Students and families can also benefit from technologies that gather, track and share their ideas and views on things that happen in the school. Some ideas include using technology to:

  • support students to practice social and emotional learning skills
  • help students practice tasks such as time management and goal setting
  • track monitor and share classroom or school community data.




Communication - for me

Technology can help you to connect with others, share your thoughts and reach out for the support you need when you need it. You can:

  • use online mental health and wellbeing supports to communicate with healthcare professionals
  • connect with others through online forums
  • use social media tools to express your thoughts and ideas.




Communication - for students

Online communication tools, such as blogs, forums and social media can build powerful protective factors for young people. Skills and knowledge using the internet to communicate are important in today’s world and can help young people to:

  • connect with likeminded peers and communities
  • seek and access professional and peer support
  • have a way to say what they're thinking and have their voice be heard
  • organise and plan face-to-face communication.




Communication - for schools

Positive and safe communications between students, families and staff benefits the whole school community. Technology provides a number of unique ways of communicating, connecting and sharing, such as:

  • using tools like blogs, forums and e-newsletters to let staff, students and families share their stories
  • communicating wellbeing information and links to supports through school or class websites
  • using social media sites and apps to support collaboration, celebration and development of shared experiences.




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Further resources

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How the MindMatters framework can help

For schools, the impacts of engaging with technology reach almost every part of a school’s operations. It is necessary therefore to consider the role of technology in the formulation of most policies and procedures, including mental health and wellbeing policies. MindMatters’ whole school approach to building a positive school community provides a framework in which technology can be integrated as a core component, rather than a superficial add on.

Start MindMatters in your school today.

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MindMatters is online and easy to use

Create your free account to:

  • save and track learning progress for all 20 online modules
  • receive professional learning certificates
  • connect with staff from other schools
  • get support from our project officers to implement MindMatters in your school
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Become an Action Team Leader

You could also become an Action Team Leader and monitor your school’s MindMatters activities, facilitate group sessions and administer your school survey tools. Contact a PAI project officer today to help you get started.

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