In late 2019, early 2020, Australia received international attention due to devastating bushfire conditions and events that unfolded. This traumatic event was then compounded with the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Australia on 25 January 2020.
Since then, Australia’s mental health sector has adapted to the conditions, whilst displaying the best qualities of humanity - selflessness, compassion, stamina, and courage. We transitioned and explored opportunities overnight – ensuring that help was still available. However, the compounded impacts of COVID-19 and the 2019/20 bushfires on infants, children and youth cohorts was inevitable.
This week’s guest Rebecca Harris coordinates student wellbeing at Carlton Primary School, in inner-city Melbourne. She directs the school’s trauma informed practice, with a focus on promoting the wellbeing of students, as well as families, and staff.
She has a postgraduate qualification in Developmental Trauma, has produced a practice manual detailing the early days of the work at Carlton Primary, and is currently writing a book entitled ‘Safe to Learn: Embedding Whole School Wellbeing Practices to Create Trauma Responsive Education’.
Stay tuned as I speak with Rebecca about the lessons learnt from 2020, including the impacts on children, the education system, and carers alike, as well as the opportunities available moving forward for the child and adolescent mental health sector.