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1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental ill-health, but many do not seek help due to stigma. 

October is Mental Health Month, an awareness month that encourages us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, break down the stigma around mental ill-health and increase help-seeking behaviours in our communities. 

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Cybercrime is an issue that affects all Australians and can have a huge financial and emotional cost to individuals, businesses and society. 

The risk of cybercrime is rising every day, and is an issue for people of all ages, including children and young people.

Stay Smart Online Week, which runs from 7-13th of October this year, is a national awareness-raising week hosted by the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Government that encourages all Australians to take active steps to protect themselves online. The message this year is 'Together, we can reverse the threat of cybercrime', which encourages us to see the problem as something that affects everyone and therefore needs to be addressed by everyone. 

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The online world can be an exciting, empowering and challenging place. Cyber safety education is essential if we want to create a more positive future for young people. 

The 2019 eSafety Conference was held in Sydney in September. Hosted by The Office of the eSafety Commissioner and Netsafe New Zealand, eSafety 2019 was an opportunity for the world’s foremost academics, industry leaders, educators, policy makers and young people to come together and discuss the biggest online safety issues of our time. The focus of this year’s event was on working together to create an online world that is positive, inclusive and safe for everyone.

Posted by on in Student Wellbeing Articles

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We can all feel down, stressed or lonely at different times in our lives. Depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions can affect anyone. But for many of us, putting our hand up and asking for help can be incredibly difficult. It is therefore important for the whole community to know the signs that someone is struggling and know how to offer support. 

On Thursday 12th of September, individuals, schools, workplaces and communities across Australia got behind R U OK?Day. Whether it was a morning tea, a sausage sizzle, a school assembly or a fundraiser, R U OK?Day sparked discussions about mental health and the importance of having regular, meaningful conversations with the people around us.

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We can all make a difference in the lives of those who might be struggling by having regular, meaningful conversations about life's challenges.

Every year R U OK? run a campaign in the lead up to R U OK?Day, which is held on the second Thursday in September each year. This year R U OK? have launched the ‘Trust the Signs’ campaign, which aims to give everyone in the community skills to notice when someone needs support and the confidence to start a conversation that could change a life.

The message is simple: if you think something’s not quite the same with someone you know - there’s something going on in their life or you notice a change in what they’re doing or saying - trust your gut instinct, and take the time to reach out and start a conversation.

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Adolescence is a period of immense physical and emotional vulnerability. For most of us vulnerability has negative connotations – we see it as a weakness and something we should try to avoid. Vulnerability is defined as being easily hurt, influenced or attacked, so it makes sense that we try to avoid it at all costs!

On the other hand, vulnerability is necessary for meaningful human connection. It is the foundation upon which healthy relationships are built

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For the 5th year running, Brainstorm Productions is proud to be a supporter of Privacy Awareness Week (PAW). PAW is an annual initiative run by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum. 

School theatre productions Waterford SS

We've had a bumper few weeks celebrating National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on 15 March 2019 followed by Harmony Week on 17 to 23 March 2019. 

Standing side-by-side with school students across Australia, we marked the ninth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence by promoting this year's theme of 'Bullying. No Way! Take action every day'.

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National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence 2019

Bullying. No Way! Take Action Every Day

The importance of bullying awareness and education in our schools cannot be overstated. Which is why we’re proud to yet again be a supporter of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence happening on Friday 15th March 2019.

Working with teachers and students we’ll be delivering our bullying programs to ten high schools and primary schools throughout Australia to help celebrate and reinforce this year’s theme: ‘Bullying. No Way! Take action every day’. This is a theme that is close to our hearts, with our anti-bullying programs performed every school day throughout the year and seen by over 360,000 students annually.

Bullying in schools

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Article on cyber safety

With a staggering 99% of 15-17 year olds being online and 97% of households with children under 15 having access to the internet, cyber safety education is critical in helping young people stay protected online. 

In partnership with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, last Tuesday the 5th February, we celebrated Safer Internet Day 2019 with a jam-packed itinerary of primary and high school live cyber safety theatre shows.

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Cyber safety education

On Tuesday, 5 February 2019 we are celebrating Safer Internet Day.

Coordinated by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in Australia and celebrated in over 130 countries, this year’s Safer Internet Day theme is: ‘Together for a better internet’ and is designed to raise awareness about the safe and positive use of digital technology, and to explore the role we can all play in creating a better and safer internet.

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Screen time is a major concern for many parents. Children are learning to use digital devices from a young age and primary school students regularly use technology for entertainment and to socialise with their friends. The latest Child Health Poll found that one-third of Australian pre-schoolers, two-thirds of primary school children and almost all teenagers own their own tablet or smart phone.

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The popularity of digital and online games is rapidly increasing, and it doesn't look like slowing down! Not only are more people playing games, but they’re also watching other people play through live streaming and esport tournaments. 

Many parents and teachers are concerned by the fervour surrounding games like Fortnite and the increasing use of games among primary school students. But no matter how you feel about gaming, there's one thing you can be sure of: gaming is here to stay.

Posted by on in Cyber Safety Articles

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This week was Stay Smart Online Week, a week to raise awareness about cybercrime and how to reverse the threat. Cybercrime is a significant issue in Australia, with a colossal 6.09 million adults having experienced an online breach in 2017.*

With tech-use among students rapidly rising each year, internet safety education is vital. In fact, Roy Morgan Research found that 97 per cent of children under 15 had continual access to the internet. 97 per cent! 

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We need to have more conversations with young people about mental health.

In the 2017 Mission Australia Youth Survey Report, mental health was rated by young people as the most important issue affecting Australia today [1]. While the majority of young people reported feeling optimistic about the future, they also saw mental health as one of the major barriers to achieving their work and study goals. 

Issues like anxiety, depression and substance misuse can have a devastating effect on individuals and communities, and if not addressed early, can impact on a young person’s ability to work, socialise and function throughout their life. 

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Humans are hard-wired to pay attention to the negative. This ‘negativity bias’ is an ancient survival tool that helps us remain vigilant and respond to threats in our environment. Parents, caregivers and teachers will know this bias all too well, often finding themselves honing in on children’s shortcomings and pointing out the behaviours they need to change. This is a normal human response – we do it because we want children to stay safe and do well in the world!

But in the process we can forget to acknowledge their strengths. 

RUOK Day 2018 Brainstorm Productions

Yesterday we hit the ground running as we celebrated the tenth R U OK?Day across the country. R U OK?Day is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that every day’s the day to ask “Are you OK?” and support those struggling with life. As the R U OK? School Partner, R U OK?Day is about inspiring school students to make a difference by having meaningful conversations with friends and family, and talking to a trusted adult if they or someone in their life needs help. 

3 Little Words to Ask Every Day to Help with Student Wellbeing

This year, in the lead up to their tenth national day of action R U OK?Day on Thursday 13 September, suicide prevention charity R U OK? are on an epic cross-country tour to show Australia every day is R U OK?Day.

We sat down with Katherine Newton, Campaign Director R U OK?, to discuss why this is a message for everyone no matter their age or location. 

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As teachers we often get stuck. The busyness of teaching, the marking, administration and preparation can often leave you feeling as if your creativity has run dry and you are at a loss for a new, engaging way to teach a concept. I have found this especially to be the case when I have had to develop lessons about ‘big’ issues such as bullying, choices, healthy relationships and cyber safety. These are conceptual, sometimes abstract, life topics; topics very different to the more concrete maths and sciences. So I'm always looking for innovative and creative ways to teach these topics, and practical resources to support this. 

 

R U OK Konnect App Blog

Transform your smartphone into a positive wellbeing tool by downloading the R U OK? mobile app Konnect. This handy app encourages you to hit the pause button and make time for your friends and family, with the aim of boosting emotional wellbeing. 

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