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Brighter minds & enhancing mental wellbeing in the classroom

Last updated:
18/03/2024

Season 2, episode 9, "Brighter minds & enhancing mental wellbeing in the classroom" features an insightful conversation hosted by Tanya O'Shea with guest Vicki Ross, focusing on the mental health of young people in educational settings, primarily in Bundaberg. This episode delves into the crucial role of schools and community collaboration in identifying and addressing mental health issues among youth. Vicki Ross, a guidance officer who works across both primary and high schools, shares her extensive experience and observations regarding the various mental health challenges faced by children and adolescents. The discussion highlights the importance of early intervention, the prevalence of conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression, and the impact of bullying on students' mental wellbeing.

Vicki emphasises the significance of individualised support strategies, the need for creativity and innovation in intervention approaches, and the role of family and community support systems in aiding young people. The conversation also touches on the broader societal issues contributing to mental health problems, such as financial stress and the effects of social media on loneliness and isolation. The podcast aims to shed light on the complex landscape of youth mental health and the collaborative efforts required to support the wellbeing of young individuals in the community.

Discover how individual stories weave into a larger narrative of hope, resilience, and collective action. It's time to embrace our roles in fostering an environment where every child can flourish. Let's learn, support, and grow together.

IMPACT Community Services:

➡️ IMPACT Community Services: 07 4153 4233 or 1800 179 233
This service is available to residents of Bundaberg, South Burnett, North Burnett and the discovery Coast visit HERE to read more

Other support services:

➡️Reach Out
️Lifeline - 13 11 14
️13YARN – 13 92 76
➡️Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
➡️DV Connect - 1800 811 811
➡️Parent Line - 1300 301 300
️MensLine - 1300 99 78 78
➡️1800 RESPECT - 1800 737 732

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses the vital importance of community engagement and collaboration in addressing and overcoming the challenges of gender-based violence, as highlighted in our podcast episode 7 featuring Jo Leverett from the Zonta Club of Bundaberg.

By Tanya O'Shea, Managing Director, IMPACT Community Services

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, spanning from November 25 to December 10, brings global attention to an issue that’s often concealed in the shadows until it's tragically too late—gender-based violence.

Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on gender-based violence in Australia are alarming to say the least:

IMPACT Community Services is passionate about this movement, which aims to do more than just raise awareness about gender-based violence; it seeks to create a lasting and positive change that echoes throughout societies.

In our most recent STRONGER TOGETHER Podcast (Episode 7), I sat down with Jo Leverett, Zonta Club of Bundaberg board member and Zonta Advocacy Committee chair, to discuss the importance of community engagement and collaboration in preventing and eliminating gender-based violence.

Our conversation shone light on the indomitable spirit of those who have turned personal tragedy into powerful advocacy. The heart-wrenching stories of Hannah Clarke and Allison Baden-Clay, as shared by their families, emphasise the pressing need for societal change, inspiring legislative reforms such as the landmark legislation on coercive control in Queensland.

Over the 16 Days of Activism, the Zonta Club of Bundaberg’s projects, such as ringing bells to honour the victims of gender-based violence or lighting up fig trees in orange, are powerful expressions of support and memory.

Yet, our responsibilities extend beyond symbolic gestures. We must continually challenge ourselves and our community to recognise and address all forms of violence, broadening our understanding and language to encompass the diverse experiences of individuals facing violence and oppression.

As we approach the Day of Community on December 8, we extend an invitation for everyone to gather in Buss Park. Wear orange, symbolising a brighter future, and make the pledge to a future free from all forms of violence.

Our strength lies in unity; together, we can be the change. Remember, if the discussions in this column resonate with you, support is available. Contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 or visit impact.org.au for additional resources.

Welcome to "Stronger Together", a transformative podcast experience that delves deep into the fabric of community wellbeing and individual resilience. Hosted by Tanya O'Shea, Managing Director of IMPACT with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and Kate Rumballe, IMPACT's Communications Officer with over two decades of experience as a journalist and communications professional.

This series is a lifeline for those in need.

In this gripping episode, we tackle the often taboo and deeply unsettling topic of  Domestic and Family Violence. We're joined by Emily, a courageous survivor willing to share her harrowing journey from the clutches of abuse to the path of recovery. Her story is a stark reminder that domestic violence doesn't discriminate; it could be happening right next door.

Emily's narrative begins seven years ago when she met a man who seemed like the epitome of charm and kindness. However, the facade soon crumbled, revealing a cycle of coercive control and escalating violence that culminated in life-threatening situations. Emily's story is not just a tale of survival but also a call to action. With alarming statistics indicating that last year alone, 57 women lost their lives to domestic violence, and this year, the count has already reached 35, the episode underscores the urgent need for community intervention and systemic change.

But what about the bystanders? This episode also addresses the crucial role that friends, family, and even strangers can play in breaking the cycle of abuse. Domestic violence is not just a private issue; it's a community crisis that requires collective action. Bystanders have the power to intervene, offer support, and even save lives. Whether it's noticing the signs, offering a listening ear, or taking steps to ensure someone's safety, your actions could make a world of difference.

This episode is an eye-opener. We discuss the grim statistics, the laws around coercive control, and the steps that each one of us can take to make a difference. We also provide resources for immediate support, making it a comprehensive guide for anyone affected by or working in the field of domestic violence.

Do you need support?

Local Services

Other assistance

Financial Assistance

Emergency Contact Numbers

If you are concerned for the immediate safety of yourself or someone else, please call 000 for emergency assistance.

Youtube video with captions

Navigating the Mental Health System with tips and insights

In an era overshadowed by mental health challenges, this month's "Stronger Together" podcast by IMPACT Community Services is a call to action.

Host Tanya O'Shea challenges organisations, mental health experts, and community leaders. It's not just about recognising mental health issues; it's about taking action against the growing crisis.

We're joined by Jannene Thorn, Manager for Mental Health at IMPACT. Together, they highlight the crucial role of Peer Support Workers. These individuals, shaped by their personal journeys and compassion, bridge the gap between those facing challenges and the support they need.

Why is peer support so vital? And how can organisations leverage it for real change? We address these questions, emphasising the need for systemic shifts and shared responsibility. Are you struggling with your mental health or stuck on a waiting list? This episode will give you insight into navigating the mental health system, and how you can access support while you wait.

Need help now?

It's not just about recognising the mental health challenges; it's about taking proactive steps to address the escalating mental health crisis.

Honest Conversations About Money and Supportive Solutions

This month, we address the current challenges that many people are facing, such as the rising cost of living. Sandy shares practical strategies and tips on managing finances and improving financial fitness.

We also discuss the importance of open conversations about money and seeking support from financial counselors. 

Sandy provides insights on how to make small changes that can lead to big impacts over time, and shares ideas on finding joy and creativity within a limited budget. We also explore strategies for tackling debt and making proactive choices to improve one's situation.


Additionally, we touch on the topic of homelessness and discuss practical strategies for individuals and families in these circumstances, such as obtaining quality tents and accessing gym facilities for showers and other amenities.

Join us as we delve into these important topics and provide valuable resources and ideas to help individuals and families navigate through challenging financial situations. Remember, we're all in this together, and together we can become stronger. 

Episode 2 with captions:

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya focuses on the support services available to the region's youth and their family.

The start of a new school year can be an emotionally charged period at the best of times, let alone after a Covid-19 peak.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

With local schools back in session, it’s understandable if there’s a heightened sense of anxiety and apprehension; but it’s important to recognise you’re not alone and there’s help available to navigate challenging times.

The gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic can be an enormous adjust for any individual and the region’s youth are no exception.

Young people are not oblivious to their surroundings; they can see and hear how social norms have changed since the outbreak of the pandemic.

And there’s support available at IMPACT Community Services and online.  

Digital resources like Head to Health have a wide range of information and advice available for parents and young people with regards to Covid-19 and other aspects of daily life.

While in Bundaberg, IMAPCT Community Services’ has a team of people who aim to improve mental health outcomes for children, young people, and their families.

Family Mental Health Support Services provides flexible, responsive options for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are affected by, or at risk of mental health concerns, and their families.

The FMHSS team offers short-term immediate assistance and intensive long-term early intervention support for young people and their families.

These services support parents to reduce stress and enable young people to reach their potential.

This includes providing evidence-based practices such as ‘The Brave Program’, ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’, ‘Drumbeat’ and ‘Seasons for Growth’ when necessary and applicable to children and their families.

IMPACT’s full host of support services are delivered with a wraparound approach that can be tailored to your exact needs.

We work with each person individually in a way that suits them.

FMHSS will accept referrals of children and young people from any source, including self-referrals, and conduct an initial brief screening process to ensure Family Mental Health Support Services is the appropriate service for them.

A formal diagnosis of mental health conditions is not required to access FMHSS.

For more information about IMPACT’s Family Mental Health Support Services click here or phone 4153 4233.

IMPACT’s headquarter is located at 108 Bargara Rd, Bundaberg East and open from 8am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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