Please note that this blog is intended for the students and parents associated with Gordonvale State High School, Cairns. Please check areas of interest as seen on the blog to confirm dates and other information as there will be occasions when dates will change and the information may not be included in the blog as it may not have been received by the school. Posts prior to July 2017 may have reference to Smithfield State High School as this blog was initially developed for students when I was the Guidance Officer at that school.

Wellbeing Links and Support Services

Disclaimer: The following links are provided for students but are not endorsed by the school or the Guidance Officer. The links are for sites to assist students who may be experiencing some difficulties with a range of issues. As the Guidance Officer, I urge you to please speak with me or one of our support team members,  should you be experiencing difficulties with coping with school, peers, finances and/or other problems. Information gained from the following links must be treated with some degree of reserve and follow up/discussion with an adult is recommended.

Headspace has opened in Cairns and is located at 2nd Floor, 45 Spence Street. It can be tricky to find - it is upstairs above the Bavarian Beerhouse which is on the corner of Spence & Grafton Streets. Headspace is a youth friendly 'one-stop-shop' for young people aged between 12 and 25, and can help you if you:
·               want to see a Doctor about your physical health (e.g., check-ups, sexual health etc.)
·               are feeling worried, down, anxious or upset about anything
·               are having hassles with friends, family, and/or your partner
·               want help to reduce or stop your alcohol and/or other drug use
·               want help to find a job or further your education
·               want to meet other people, discuss topics of concern, learn new things, and have fun.
At the Centre in Cairns they have GP’s, psychologists, and other mental health workers.
Headspace also has eheadspace which is a national online and telephone support service. eheadspace is a confidential free and secure space where a young person or their family can web chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.
Young people or family members must register at www.eheadspace.org.au to use the online and email service. They can remain anonymous (full name is not required for registration), but they will need to provide a username and email address as registration is a two-step process requiring email verification. Please visit http://www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspace-cairns for further information
Smiling Mind:
Smiling mind has mindfulness activities that you can work through at your own pace. They can vary in length and they can vary in specificity to what you may need support with (ie calming your mind, Mindfulness for sport, returning to school etc)
Black Dog Institute:
The Black Dog Institute works directly in all parts of the community as well as guiding the development of new and improved policy. They place focus on those with specific mental health needs like young people, Indigenous communities, men, and high-risk workforces.
Their primary areas of mental health research and treatment include: depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, workplace mental health, adolescents and young people, suicide prevention, e-mental health, and positive psychology and wellbeing.
Beyondblue and youth Beyondblue:
beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
“Because anxiety and depression affects all of us, we’re equipping everyone in Australia with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health. We’re giving people the confidence to support those around them, and making anxietydepression and suicide part of everyday conversations. And as well as tackling stigma, prejudice and discrimination, we’re breaking down the barriers that prevent people from speaking up and reaching out”.
SANE Australia:
SANE Australia is a national charity helping all Australian affected by mental illness. They help to improve their lives and reduce the risk of suicide.
Tune In Not Out:
E-Mental Health Portal:
Victim Assist Queensland:
Victim Assist Queensland has launched its new online resource that provides information to carers and parents of young victims of violent crime in Queensland.
supporting young victims of crime webpage provides information on how a young person can report a crime to police, what support is available to them within the criminal justice system and their rights as a young person and victim of crime in Queensland.
Kids Helpline:
Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. Please visit http://www.kidshelp.com.au/teens/ for information about phone counselling, web counselling and E-mail counselling.
The website has been designed with a specific section for families.  It includes free parenting information sheets on more than 40 topics affecting children, including fears and worries, dealing with anger, making friends, starting school and more. The sheets have been developed by mental health experts and are evidence-based. Visit http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/
Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI):
"COPMI is a web site for, as the name suggests, children of parents with a mental illness. Visit: http://www.copmi.net.au/
The following information is provided on the MoodGYM web page: MoodGYM is an innovative, interactive web program designed to prevent depression. It consists of five modules, an interactive game, anxiety and depression assessments, downloadable relaxation audio, a workbook and feedback assessment. Using flashed diagrams and online exercises, MoodGYM teaches the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy – a proven treatment for depression. It also demonstrates the relationship between thoughts and emotions, and works through dealing with stress and relationship break-ups, as well as teaching relaxation and meditation techniques. Please visit the web page for more information at https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome
Reach Out Central:
Reach out Central is an online game designed to help you learn and improve skills for life such as communication, problem solving and optimistic thinking online in a virtual setting using real life scenarios.For more information visit: http://au.reachout.com/Apps-and-Tools/ReachOutCentral
Happy Rambles:
This is an online gratitude diary for self reflection. Visit http://www.happyrambles.com/
St James Ethics Centre:
The St James ethics Centre is a not-for Profit organization which offer a free phone service to assist people working through everyday ethical dilemmas and decision making. They give up to an hour per call to assist everyday people with everyday ethical decision making The centre can be very useful for families struggling with "what should we do" type decision dilemmas. The centre has be found to be useful with upper high school students. For more information visit: http://www.ethics.org.au/  
Young Carers:
Young carers are children and young people up to 25 years of age who help care in families where someone has an illness, a disability, a mental health issue or who has an alcohol or other drug problem. The person they help care for might be a parent, a sibling, a grandparent or other relative, or may be a friend. A young carer might help out with cleaning, cooking, with administering medications, therapy, medical and other appointments, with keeping the person safe or watching out to make sure that they’re feeling okay.
The website at http://youngcarers.net.au/ provides excellent resources and links for young carers, parents, guardians and teachers.  They also have a young carer counsellor available on 1800 242 636 if young carers need to chat.

"Mi Networks"The Mental Illness Fellowship Australia are delighted to announce the launch of 'Mi Networks", a nationwide help service for anyone wanting more information about mental health issues and services to support them - it can be viewed at    www.minetworks.org.au 

Gender Diversity: The following links may be helpful to students with questions regarding gender diversity.
Physical as Anything . com:
Physical as anything provides information about more than 50 medical, developmental, and psychological conditions affecting children and young people, and describes the implications of each condition for students' education.
Some kids need a little bit more support than others and for kids with one of these conditions, everyday things such as going to school can present a whole lot of challenges. In this great new website, physical as anything dot com, teachers, parents and healthcare professionals can find out how to give these kids a hand. It's written in plain English and has heaps of resources to help support these students in their learning.
It's been created by professionals from The Children's Hospital at Westmead and the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.
All the contributors – and there are more than 50 of them – are recognised as experts in their fields, and all the information they've provided has been checked to make sure it's easy to understand, accurate, and up to date. Check out the index of conditions on the top of the front page to find the condition you're interested in.
Please visit physicalasanything.com
Youth Advocacy Centre
YAC offers free legal services, youth support and family support assistance and services to young people generally 10 to 18 years (inclusive) particularly those who are involved in, or are at risk of involvement in, the youth justice and/or the child protection systems, and/or are homeless or at risk of homelessness and live in or around the greater Brisbane region. We provide more limited support to those under 10 and over 18 years of age; and to young people outside of Brisbane via telephone, website and publications. (See individual programs for specific age focus and geographical coverage relevant to each program.)
YAC can assist young people with legal hassles – including being charged with breaking the law or child protection issues, problems at home or school, lack of accommodation and/or income, being the victim of a crime (including abuse),discrimination issues, and general hassles. 
Please visit www.yac.net.au

The Butterfly Foundation:
The Butterfly Foundation represents all people affected by eating disorders and negative body image – a person with the illness, their family and their friends. Please visit https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/  
Queensland Government Youth Strategy
Visit the Qld Government Youth webpage for information on a number of topics popular to youth. You are able to join the eHub and be an active participant in the Queensland Government's Youth Engagement platform.
Logging in to the eHub allows students to join one of the many activities that are happening around Queensland to celebrate the achievements, vitality and strength of young Queenslanders. As a member, you are able to access a calendar of events.
Apps for your phone:
Some great apps for your phone include:

  1. Headspace
  2. Smiling mind
  3. Breathe
  4. Calm
  5. YouthBeyondBlue