Project Air Schools complements other initiatives such as NSW School-Link between NSW Health and the NSW Department of Education to recognise the unique opportunity that schools provide for early intervention and prevention of mental illness among young people.
Education staff have established relationships with students and are therefore in a pivotal position to notice changes in students’ behaviour and provide appropriate action to support young people. To achieve this, the education environment needs to be equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills to identify and respond to young people with emerging personality disorder symptoms and challenging behaviours including self-harm.
This guide was therefore designed with the motto: “For any teacher, anywhere”. It is hoped that any person working in the education system engaging in regular communication with young people experiencing mental health difficulties will find this guide useful when they require extra support and information. This includes teachers, support teachers, year advisors, deputy principals, principals, school counsellors and psychologists. Project Air Strategy for Schools aims to provide education staff with information and tools to work effectively with young people that are experiencing a personality disorder or are presenting with emerging symptoms by offering an evidence-based approach that promotes early intervention within the school environment.
This guide seeks to align with existing policies and resources. Most importantly, this guide has been designed to do just what its name suggests: to guide staff when they are feeling as though they need extra support, information, and specific tips for responding.