“I’m really excited about the project. Young people really need it now”.

–Participating Year 12 student

Connect Health & Community in Melbourne’s Southeast has launched a new youth mental health initiative called ‘Boss Brain’. 

Boss Brain is a youth mental health initiative working with local secondary schools to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students. This year, 65 VCE students from Brighton Secondary College and Sandringham College have taken part in the program that aims to give them the skills to recognise and respond to mental health issues in their school community.

The program kicked off with teen mental health first aid training for all students. 

The students will then receive the support from the project team to design and deliver their own mental health initiative at their school. 

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Year 11 and 12 students at Brighton Secondary College

“We could come in and deliver a mental health project to students, but it won’t be as effective as one that is designed by them. The evidence tells us that peer-led mental health programs are a great way to engage young people in mental health issues. These guys are the experts on what it’s like to be a young person today – they are best placed to come up with an amazing idea themselves”.

–Natalie Willis, Health Promotion Officer, Connect Health & Community

So far, 78 local students have been trained in teen Mental Health First aid and over 250 students have received an intervention designed by students themselves. The project has already seen positive outcomes – over half of all participants have reported an increase in mental health literacy and help seeking behaviour. 

This vital project is delivered in partnership with headspace Elsternwick/Bentleigh, Bayside City Council Youth Services, Glen Eira Council Youth services and Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning & Employment Network (BGKLLEN).

Boss Brain is supported by Bendigo Bank Bayside Community Cluster through their Community Grants initiative. 

Find out more about the initiative here: https://connecthealth.org.au/our-services-programs-groups/youth-support-services/boss-brain/