Student empowerment means giving young people the opportunity to actively participate in school decisions that will shape their lives and the lives of their peers. Student empowerment is student-led, and will therefore look different in every school. When students have the right skills, support and environment, it’s amazing what they can produce.
In this session, we will explore the evolution of the MindMatters Student Empowerment Pilot – Dare to Dream – a practical application of the MindMatters Student Empowerment module.  We will examine how the program was developed by the Ontario Centre for Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health and how the program was adapted for a MindMatters pilot. The process of engagement of schools, assessment of proposals and mentoring of youth is also explored.  Finally, we will see how some of the projects were implemented in schools by young people, and listen to their reflections, as well as those of school staff, on their projects.

About Nick

Nick Prendergast is the MindMatters Program Leader at beyondblue. He has a Masters in Health Administration, a Bachelor of Youth Affairs and Diploma in Alcohol and Drugs, and has worked in the health and community services sectors for over 20 years, predominantly with young people.

Prior to joining beyondblue, Nick was the Executive Officer for headspace Western Melbourne and Northern Melbourne, a prevention, promotion and early intervention mental health initiative for young people. He was also the Manager of the Adolescent Forensic Health service at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, a state-wide health service for youth justice. Nick has worked with the NHS South of England, exploring the development of early intervention models in mental health for young people, and has also worked with Det Sociale Netværk in Denmark in assisting in the development of similar models for young people.

About beyondblue

beyondblue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in Australia and to reduce the associated stigma.

Our vision is an Australian community that understands anxiety and depression, empowers people to seek help, and supports recovery, management and resilience.

beyondblue works across a range of settings and brings together expertise in order to provide information and programs to support those affected by anxiety and depression, and improve the mental health of every person in Australia.

For more information please visit beyondblue.org.au, contact Education Projects Manager Rene Hahn on 03 9810 6168, or email Rene.Hahn@beyondblue.org.au