Commissioner's Mentally Healthy Education Award
The Commissioner’s Mentally Healthy Education Award recognises education institutions such as WA primary and high schools that encourage good mental health for their students, staff and volunteers.
Established in 2020, the Award is part of the WA Mental Health Awards, hosted by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) with the support of the Mental Health Commission. The Awards aim to celebrate outstanding contributions to mental health in WA and inspire organisations to strive for excellence.
Visit WAAMH for more information.
2021 Mentally Healthy Education Award winner
Mount Barker Community College
Mount Barker Community College has demonstrated a preventative approach to address student wellbeing. The school has developed a variety of positive initiatives, including the 'Build Up Zone Rangers' (Year 6 students who are trained to support their peers during break times) and the Equine Assisted Learning program.
Mount Barker also provides students and staff with internal and external supports for mental health concerns and collaborates with community organisations such as Youth Focus, local police, TAFE and other local services.
During COVID lockdowns, the school engaged the community to provide physical and emotional support to families who were facing the challenge of learning from home, by providing equipment such as desks and computers, and regular contact with families and students as needed.
Previous award winners
North Albany Senior High School
North Albany Senior High School has a culture centred on a wrap-around model and school ethos of 'Students first and foremost'. All practices focus on the student as the centre of the service, with a strong emphasis on their social, emotional and academic development. The growing student population - from 350 students in 2013 to 850 in 2019 - reflects the enhanced school culture. The school has a chaplain, school psychologist, nurse, two student service program coordinators, a learning support coordinator and a youth worker within the student service team to support student engagement. Community support is strong with input from local community service groups. The school also has a dedicated mental health plan, is a positive behaviour support school, and has implemented the national Be You Framework.
Ocean Road Primary School
Ocean Road Primary School, located 20 minutes from Mandurah, is isolated from essential allied child and health services and has 670 students from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The school is dedicated to 'Put Children First' and provides wrap-around support to students. The learning environment provides opportunities for children to develop positive mental health knowledge and competencies and build resilience to mental health problems. The school runs a range of programs that support student and teacher mental health and wellbeing. It implemented the national Be You Framework to support student mental health, which included the formation of a dedicated Be You team to work with staff to identify students at risk.