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With the launch of ‘The Wellbeing Framework for Schools’ by the NSW Education & Communities Department in April 2015, more and more schools are developing initiatives that are aimed at empowering students to take better care of their wellbeing; as well as that of others. 

One school that’s had a long-running student wellbeing program is All Saints’ College Bathurst. Their successful approach is focused on teaching skills that students can use in their everyday life, not just about conveying information on what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ behaviour. One example of this is incorporating Brainstorm Productions anti-bullying and violence prevention program ‘Sticks & Stones’. 

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Posted by on in Stop Bullying Articles

R U OK 2015

At Brainstorm Productions, we did lots of important and substantial things to support R U OK?Day 2015. That’s because we believe conversations do make a difference. We believe we can help each other by taking the time to ask, “are you ok?” We believe that having a meaningful conversation is powerful. And of course, R U OK? is such an inspiring message with potentially life-changing consequences.

We also loved this year’s campaign drive to encourage people to give a big old-fashioned thanks to someone who had asked “are you ok?” when they needed help through one of life’s ups or downs. It was a great way to give our activities focus and help students reflect on the types of conversations that can be helpful to a friend who’s not doing so well.

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Thanks for asking 1

Communication plays such an important role in human interaction. A heartfelt note is always a great way to let someone know how you feel, as it carries with it sincere words, personal thoughts and our deepest gratitude. In the days of Snapchat, text messages and twitter, a thank you note might seem old-fashioned – but R U OK? is bringing it back with their 2015 campaign ‘Thanks for Asking’.

Thanks for Asking is all about celebrating the power of a conversation. By encouraging people to give thanks for someone who’s helped them weather one of life’s storms when they needed a bit of support, it will help prove that conversations do make a difference. Whether you’re the writer or the recipient, it’s an opportunity to reflect on how we can positively influence the lives we touch.

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Buddies 2 Anti Cyberbullying at School

What is the number-one social issue for students across Australia? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics CensusAtSchool survey, reducing bullying in schools [1]. Longitudinal studies have consistently found strong links between school bullying and mental health problems with victims at risk of developing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Similarly, perpetrators of bullying are also at risk of developing depression, anti-social personality and substance use disorders [3]. With a long history, over 30 years, Brainstorm Productions helps more than 350,000 students across Australia each year with anti-bullying, cyber bullying and wellbeing education programs via a range of live in-school theatre productions. 

The use of theatre in education can help unite students in a shared experience and is a great springboard for opening up discussion and assisting with change; be it bullying, peer pressure, binge drinking and violence. Research and evaluation have revealed that the ‘overwhelming majority of students demonstrate enjoyment and enthusiasm through watching educational theatre, are receptive and listen attentively, and can correctly identify the educational messages being portrayed’ [2]. In this way, theatre gives strong and emotional lessons to students, whilst being entertaining.

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How does theatre help deliver the anti bullying message in schools, and is it effective? Australia's largest independent women’s website, Mamamia, talked to Brainstorm Productions co-founder Jenny Johnson about bullying, cyber bullying and how Brainstorm Productions uses theatre to bring about effective change and make a real difference in kids lives. Below is a full transcript of this interview:

 

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