Bupa’s Kids Helpline partnership delivers support to 15 000 children

Teachers say the first year of the new Kids Helpline @ School Wellbeing program, funded by Bupa, has been a huge success. The emotional wellbeing program was delivered to 204 schools around Australia, almost 3 times the target number.

The Kids Helpline @ School (KAS) Wellbeing program was launched in 2018 and is delivered in schools by Kids Helpline counsellors, to help children cope with and manage a range of different emotional and wellbeing issues. They include things like bullying, friendships, developing resilience, managing emotions and transitioning to high school.

The program is delivered over skype or other video conferencing tools directly into classrooms, and involves an interactive class focussing on early intervention to help set children up for a happy and emotionally healthy life.

During its first year, KAS Wellbeing aimed to reach up to 70 schools and 10 000 students across Australia.

But, the program far exceeded its targets, reaching three times the number of schools (204 schools) and 50% more students (15 392).

There were a range of reasons why schools decided to take part in the sessions, including to support rural students in drought affected areas.

Here’s what some teachers had to say about why they decided to take part:

“We are currently experiencing one of the worst droughts ever and I thought it was relevant to support the students who were invited to attend.”

“Friendship challenges had come to our attention with this group and we considered the session to be another way of supporting the children in navigating these.”

“We booked this session because we were looking for some practical strategies that our Year 5/6 students could find out about, prior to transitioning to high school.”

And they weren’t disappointed, in a post program survey:

  • 99% of teachers said they would recommend the program to other teachers,
  • 96% said they believed the KAS Wellbeing session was likely to positively influence students’ future choices and decision-making
  • 99% said the sessions were likely to have improved student understanding of help-seeking options, and
  • 98% indicated they planned to book another session.

Here’s some of their feedback:

“Students got a better understanding of their feelings, how to deal with them and who they can talk to.”

“(The students) were all engaged in the topic and it gave them a deeper insight into the role our emotions play in our lives. They enjoyed listening and interacting with the Kids Helpline counsellor.”

“I am eager to do more of these sessions in the future and I think it was very useful to open the students’ eyes to what is available and what it might be like to use these services.”

Bupa’s head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Rebecca Crimean says it’s wonderful to see so many children benefiting from the partnership between Bupa and yourtown, the organisation which runs Kids Helpline.

“Through this partnership we wanted to find a way to help children develop the tools and skills to be able to cope with life’s challenges,” she says.

"We know the emotional wellbeing of their kids matters to our customers and our people, so it’s fantastic to receive such positive feedback about the program and to know that more than 15 thousand extra children will now know what to do and who to turn to if they need help.”

Managing Emotions was the most selected topic for discussion (108 sessions) closely followed by Developing Resilience (105 sessions).

Of the 204 participating schools, 62% were in major cities, 22% in inner regional areas, 13% in outer regional areas, and 2% in either remote or very remote areas.

Learn more about the Kids Helpline @ Schools Wellbeing program here.