There are a wide variety of community health issues in the present day. Not only physical, but mental as well. One of the most notorious mental health issues in the present day is Anxiety. According to the Queensland Government, 1 in 25 teenagers (ages 13-17) suffer from anxiety (Qld.gov.au, 2018). Anxiety is distressing and often causes constant nervousness, fear and worry about something that is going to happen or something that has been done. There are different types of Anxiety the main being a naturel human emotion while some people find it affects them so much, they begin to drop out of things they would otherwise enjoy as the overpowering feeling of anxiety becomes too much to handle. Anxiety Disorder consist of emotional and physical symptoms such as increased blood pressure and nausea. Anxiety is a problem because it usually results in panic, leading to a poor quality of life. People suffering anxiety will prioritize getting whatever’s making them anxious (i.e. schoolwork) done over anything else. This leaves little time dedicated to other things such as recreational time and rest. This report will investigate community health programs in place to help people suffering from Anxiety. This report will also propose to some ideas which Gregory Terrace could put into motion to help students suffering from anxiety.
2.0 CURRENT COMMUNITY AND GOVERMANT HEALTH PROGRAMS
Treatments for anxiety consist of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and medication. There are many places to get support including the beyondblue Support Service (1300 224 636), Headspace and Lifeline (13 11 14).
2.1 Existing Community Health Programs:
In the state of Queensland there are many programs available to teenagers and adults who are dealing with overwhelming levels of anxiety. Beyond blue is a great website which gives anyone the chance to research mental health dieses like anxiety and depression and gives a lot of useful information including statistics, places to get help for people suffering from anxiety and depression and online support. Another service is Head space. A site which provides tailored mental support for 12 to 25 year olds. They offer support through online services and clinical programs, including (but not limited to) eheadspace their phone service which offers a safe and secure place to talk to a professional (I.e. a psychologist) as well as many head space centers around Australia.
2.2 Objectives of community programs:
Beyond Blue’s main objective is to inform people of mental dieses like anxiety and depression, which according to their site, over 3 million Australians suffer from either of these mental health issues. They also are also tearing down the social barrier that’s stops people suffering reaching out and getting help. Head space was established in 2006 and ensures that they meet the always evolving and unique needs of young people who need support, particular those suffering from anxiety. Compared to Beyond Blue, Head space is just for teenagers and young adults who need support.
2.3 How these programs achieve these objectives:
Beyond blue achieves their objective of tearing down the social barrier that’s stops people suffering reaching out and getting help by making anxiety and depression part of the everyday conversation. They have a sophisticated website which is easy to navigate and is very informative (Beyondblue.org.au, 2019). Head space is very effective in reaching those who can’t reach them. The eheadspace was set up so that teenagers and young adults who could not access a head space center were still able to get the support they needed. They also achieve their goal’s because Head space is narrowed down to a certain age group thus it is easier to cater for a constantly evolving population of teenagers and young adults.
2.4 How effective are these programs at achieving their goal:
Beyond blue has comments on their site such as; “Feeling well enough to at last find my voice again” and many more comments similar to this, thus it is obvious that with positive comments, it is assumed that beyond blue is effective at achieving their goal of helping people with anxiety and depression (Beyondblue.org.au, 2019). “Head space was specifically set up to be youth-friendly and stigma free” (Jorm, 2015), thus it is assumed that headspace provides age appropriate services to teens and young adults. According to (Orygen, 2015), two papers published by the Medical Journal of Australia, Headspace provides a substantial service, improving recovery outcomes for teens and young adults. The Data in the articles which was obtained between the 1st of April 2013 and the 31st of March 2014, shows that 80% of clients who turned to head space had their first session within 2 weeks.
3.0MentalHealth Programs at Gregory Terrace:
Gregory Terrace offers a number of services to students. For people in crisis or just dealing with anxiety or any other issues not matter how minor or major, the school offers a dedicated counselling office with a dedicated school counsellor. The counsellor is not the only way to get help, students are also welcomed to speak to a staff member as there is a good trust between most teachers and students.
3.1 Reasons for having a Mental Health Program at Terrace:
It is important, especially for an all-boys school, to have a dedicated mental program that welcomes students with open arms. According to beyondblue, only 13% of young men suffering from mental health issues like anxiety sought help from a professional. This is due to the social boundary that all young men should just tough it out, no matter how big the problem is. Thus, it is vital that Terrace has this program that welcomes students in to talk about any issues they are having. A safe place were what’s said stays there and doesn’t makes its way out into the yard, which for everyone to hear, as for someone suffering anxiety, this would just be another reason to be anxious. It is important to have a mental health program for students in year 10. Year 10 in 2019 is a stressful year, the education system has changed, the workload has increased, there is a lot of anxiety around the new ‘ATAR’ system and there is a lot of stress around choosing subjects.
3.2 Overview of the proposed Mental Health Program:
To help reduce and manage anxiety for students in year 10. A custom mental health program specifically for year 10 students dealing with anxiety has been designed. Students will have access to an online form allowing them to contact the year 10 staff and inform them that they are suffering from anxiety and why and what support they think they need. Then, at the start of every week, the staff and the student’s teachers will be informed of boys suffering from anxiety allowing teachers to adjust to the students situation whether that be more support in class or maybe less work, giving the students some more time to reorganise and get back on track. After a week, the student will be asked to fill out an online survey about how they are feeling and if they are feeling any less anxious. If not or they have become worse, they can be referred to the school counsellor.
3.2.1 Goals of the proposed Mental Health Program:
The main goal of the new health program is to provide support specifically for year 10 students experiencing high levels of anxiety. This program relies heavily on the teachers involvement in a student’s live and how they are managing their schoolwork and the transition into senior school. The program also aims to shatter the social boundary where young men have to tough it out by giving male students the confidence to reach out and get help.
3.2.2 Explanation of how the new Program will be implemented:
This program starts and finishes with the staff and students. Staff must commit to supporting the program and students must commit to being open with their feelings. Students going through anxiety don’t have to make them self’s known, its up to them, but if they do students need to understand that staff need all the information they can get to help adjust to the needs of that particular student. The program must also be free of racial bigotry and exclusion, anyone who asks for help must receive it.
4.0 Justification of new Health Program:
After investigating the Australian department of education’s website on anxiety and mental health (Department for Education, 2019), it is found that students with anxiety are very sensitive. The new health program will be effective because it will ensure that all sensitives are understood so that strategies can be implemented so that a positive experience for the student can be achieved. The information submitted by a student could possibly help teachers understand behaviour that may related to anxiety such as be disruptiveness or dangerous actions. From this information, teachers and staff can identify teach alternative behaviours and new skills. The program will identify what is impacting on a student’s anxiety and how a student responds to a particular situation and how different signals can help to reduce anxiety. The online form students would have filled out will give teachers all this information and an Idea of what needs to be done. Headspace is also a very successful service due to its dedication to improving mental health for people aged between 12-25. They are good at providing service as it is easier to focus on one constantly changing and evolving age gap. This information (along with the fact that the program is designed specifically for year 10 students and their needs as changing young men) suggests that the new health program will be highly effective at achieving its goals.
Government sites and services like beyond blue all imply that having an effective mental health program is very important. Good mental health support for people suffering from anxiety always leads to a positive outcome and a better quality of life for that person. The social boundary around mental health in young men should be shattered so that school is a safe and secure place were students can reach out and get help. Staff and all students should support the development of a new and effective mental health program to help reduce levels of anxiety not just at Terrace, but across the county.
- Beyondblue.org.au. (2019). Anxiety. [online] Available at: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety [Accessed 1 Jun. 2019]. (source may change over time)
- Department for Education. (2019). Anxiety. Available at: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/supporting-students/health-e-safety-and-wellbeing/health-support-planning/managing-health-education-and-care/neurodiversity/anxiety
- Jorm, A. (2015). Is ‘headspace’ really improving young people’s mental health?. The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/is-headspace-really-improving-young-peoples-mental-health-46398
- Orygen. (2015). New data shows headspace improving outcomes for young people. Available at: https://www.orygen.org.au/About/News-And-Events/New-data-shows-headspace-improving-outcomes
- Qld.gov.au. (2018). Managing your thoughts: Anxiety. Available at: https://www.qld.gov.au/youth/health-looking-after-yourself/mental-health-support-counselling/managing-your-thoughts/anxiety [Accessed 1 Jun. 2019]. (source may change over time)
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