Date
19 January 2020

Encourage students to plan and to seek support as needed

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Helping students identify aspirations and implement plans to achieve them’

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Connect with students regularly

Connect with students regularly

Students identify the positive impact of having an adult who believes in them, looks out for them, has high expectations for them, and is available when they need support.

Connect students to supporters

Connect students to supporters

Being connected to the community is vital to well-being. The community can be family or whānau, friends, neighbours, people from local clubs, advocacy groups, or support workers.

Help the student and their family or whānau to identify people who could:

  • be good advocates and allies
  • provide practical help (with transport, for example)
  • help solve problems
  • be a mentor
  • connect them to others with similar experiences
  • support them to find relevant information
  • be good listeners.

Foster resilience

Foster resilience

Build an understanding of what supports students’ resilience.

  • Control: Young people who understand that privileges and respect are earned through demonstrated responsibility will learn to make wise choices and feel a sense of control.
  • Competence: Give young people opportunities to develop competence. We undermine competence when we don't allow students to recover themselves after a fall.
  • Confidence: Young people need confidence to be able to navigate the world, think outside the box, and recover from challenges.
  • Connection: Connections with other people, schools, and communities offer young people the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions.
  • Character: Young people need a clear sense of right and wrong and a commitment to integrity.
  • Contribution: Young people who contribute to the well-being of others receive gratitude. They learn that contributing feels good and may therefore more easily turn to others.
  • Coping: Young people who possess a variety of healthy coping strategies will be less likely to turn to dangerous quick fixes when stressed.

Source: Adapted from The 7 C's: The essential building blocks of resilience (opens in a new tab/window)

Tools to manage anxiety

Tools to manage anxiety

Sometimes students don’t want to talk. As an alternative, introduce students to resources and tools that can help them manage their anxiety or feelings of being overwhelmed or stuck.

  • SPARX is an online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland. SPARX helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling depressed or stressed.
  • The Lowdown has a leaving-school section that offers a choice of actions students can take to manage their anxiety as they approach leaving school.

Circles of support

Circles of support

For me to be happy and not lonely, I need help from good friends. So I have a circle of support and they’re called The Young Champs.

The Young Champs is a group of very special people who’re there for me. Every two months, we have a meeting and I organise them. I wrote them a letter asking if they could help me with my goals.

I wanted people who were funny, helpful, friendly, honest, supportive, and smart. We have dinner that I cook and then have our meeting and talk about ME.

I’m very blessed to have good people in my life. They’re all there for me and it feels good.

My champs make sure that I’m in charge of my life and are there to help me. My champs and my family are all behind me so that makes me feel very strong. They really listen to me.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

The Low Down

Publisher: The Low Down

Visit website

Website

School and jobs

Publisher: TeensHealth

Visit website

Website

School leavers' toolkit

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Help students' identify aspirations and implement plans”:

Return to the guide “Preparing students to leave school”

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