Building social and emotional skills

From an Indigenous perspective social and emotional wellbeing is viewed through a holistic lens incorporating the physical, social, emotional, spiritual and cultural health of both individuals and their communities. Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing (culture) have sustained and strengthened Indigenous people for many thousands of years and continues to be a source of strength to this day.  However, through the events of colonisation, Indigenous populations have and continue to experience the impacts of trauma (intergenerational) which has implications for both individual and collective wellbeing. As young people enter new schooling environments, additional stressors including accessing the curriculum, adapting to new cultural environments and navigating other age-related challenges can also impact on students’ emotions and behaviours. With these considerations in mind Indigenous students need to be supported to both access culturally meaningful resources that make them feel strong and to develop specific skills to assist them navigate the day to day challenges that they face. Schools can support this process by developing their knowledge about Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and how experiences of trauma can impact behaviour. Translating this knowledge into practice and working with students to build their individual skills supports them to meet their needs in prosocial ways. The National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing is one of the key documents for schools and other service providers to refer to when planning for the wellbeing of Indigenous students (a link to this document can be found below).  This Resilience Building Toolkit website also provides additional reference points and resources that can assist schools support their Indigenous students.

The National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing.

https://www.pmc.gov.au/resource-centre/indigenous-affairs/national-strategic-framework-mental-health-social-emotional-wellbeing-2017-23

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