Children’s mental health program wins state awardOct 10, 2023
Mid North Coast Local Health District’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service earned state recognition at the WayAhead Mental Health Matters Awards for the ‘Getting on Track in Time (GOT IT!)’ program.
Aboriginal Mental Health Trainee Tianna Bailey and Mental Health Clinician and Social Worker Olivia Monk received the award in Sydney on 6 October on behalf of the team, which includes Peer Worker John Bird, Mental Health Clinician/Psychologist Nathalie Gardner, Clinical Lead Solange Villagran, and Administration Officer Leighanne Stibbard.
‘Got it!’ is a specialised early intervention mental health program for children aged five to eight years who display conduct problems such as defiance, aggression, and disruptive behaviours. The team was awarded for the adapted program delivered to Green Hill Public School in Kempsey.
Early intervention is designed to reduce the frequency and severity of conduct issues in children, strengthen the skills and abilities of parents to parent well, and help teachers and school staff decode students’ behaviours to identify what they can do to help. Conduct disorder is the most common childhood mental health disorder.
The program’s Clinical Lead, Solange Villagran, paid tribute to the team who delivered the program at Green Hill Public School.
“The team worked closely with the school to adapt the program for students to help instil a sense of identity and pride,” Ms Villagran said.
“Got It! is a proactive program focusing on the longevity of positive mental health. We’ve seen changes in family dynamics, strengthened parenting, and improvements at school as the children learn to recognise and express their feelings without disruptive behaviours, which can help their learning in class.
“The success of this program is also very much due to the effort of principal Janet Haigh and Aboriginal Education Officer Christine Wright.”