Federal Government Announces Further $3.3m In Funding For Smiling Mind’s Schools Program
Smiling Mind today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of an additional $3.3m funding to roll out the Smiling Mind Schools Program to a further 300 primary schools and ongoing support to 800 currently participating schools.
The Federal Government has recognised the success and significant impact that Smiling Mind’s schools program has had on more than 200,000 children across 1,200 schools to date. Smiling Mind is looking forward to continuing their work with those schools while bringing this program to an additional 300 schools nationally.
Smiling Mind CEO, Dr Addie Wootten said the announcement is a resounding endorsement of the clinically informed, evidence-based program and its value to both students and educators.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to extend the benefits of our program to a further 300 schools, through this additional $3.3m funding. That means that 275,000 children will have access to the tools and opportunity to develop skills to lay the foundation of mental fitness, resilience and wellbeing over the next 12 months,” said Dr Wootten.
“There is still more work to do to achieve our objective to make generational change in the mental health of all Australians and help every mind to thrive. This funding is a step towards that goal, and we are proud to have the support of the Federal Government.
“Smiling Mind’s programs are part of an ecosystem that provides a toolkit for children to develop the skills and strategies to build mental wellbeing across the two environments of school and home. Through our schools program, they can develop the ability to understand and proactively support their own mental health and via the Smiling Mind app, they can continue this learning at home.
“Preventative mental health care is frequently overlooked but is key to reducing the strain on treatment-focused services as highlighted in the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy,” Dr Wootten said.
“As we head towards an election, all sides of politics need to commit to a preventative mental health plan. We need funding that will best serve our children for generations to come, while also providing essential mental health services who need clinical support.
“With 50% of all mental health conditions having their onset before the age of 14, the evidence tells us that intervening early, during the school years, is essential to supporting significant change in the mental health experience of Australians. Digital approaches provide an opportunity to reach schools and students at scale, overcoming many barriers to access and embedding vital social and emotional learning opportunities into every child’s learning experience,” said Dr Wootten.
“Australians need easily accessible preventative tools and resources that can be used when help is most needed, in schools, in homes, on phones and in workplaces. In order to make real and lasting change to the mental health of Australians we need to invest in prevention now – before our clinical services are even more overwhelmed than they currently are.”
• Camilla Subeathar: 0432 522 900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dr Addie Wootten
Dr Addie Wootten’s experience as a Clinical Psychologist combined with comprehensive knowledge of research and e-health bring both academic expertise and commercial acumen to her role as CEO of Smiling Mind.
A widely-published mental health commentator and highly-regarded speaker, Addie’s leadership and passion for empowering people to take a positive and proactive approach to their own mental health has seen the organisation grow beyond a mindfulness app to become an active part of the mental health ecosystem.
Under Addie’s stewardship, Smiling Mind provides preventative mental health programs that deliver real generational change for Australian families.