Darwin Middle School has developed a unique Mental Health and Well-being program that will support staff, students and the whole school community. The Mental Health and Awareness program is called SMILE.

Useful resources

What is SMILE?

Student empowerment through strong and positive Mental Health, Intrinsic motivation, Life skills & Emotional resilience

SMILE facilitates and provides students with skills and strategies allowing them to foster resilience and positive mental health. The five domains of well-being are:

  • Cognitive well-being is associated with achievement and success.
  • Emotional well-being relates to self-awareness and emotional regulation.
  • Social well-being includes how we experience positive relationships and connectedness to others.
  • Physical well-being is associated with how we feel physically safe and healthy.
  • Spiritual well-being relates to our sense of meaning and purpose. Including our connection to culture, religion or community and includes the beliefs, values and ethics we hold.

Student focused

A Student focused holistic well-being and developmental program that encompasses all students across three years of middle years schooling.

Positive relationships foster connectedness and feelings of belonging which are essential for good well-being. These relationships are characterised by constructive interactions that provide enthusiastic and genuine support.

Happy, Safe, Fulfilled Students

Mental health and dealing with life’s challenges

Mental health is a way of describing social and emotional well-being. Good mental health is central to every student’s healthy development and is associated with:

  • feeling happy and positive about themselves and enjoying life
  • healthy relationships with family and friends
  • participation in physical activity and eating a healthy diet
  • the ability to relax and to get a good night’s sleep
  • community participation and belonging

We need good mental health to build strong relationships, adapt to change and deal with life’s challenges.

Student focused

Intrinsic motivation to be personally responsible for your conduct and learning behaviours

Students are actively and intrinsically motivated towards wanting to be engaged in their learning;

  • Students have positive and respectful relationships with each other, their teachers and the community.
  • Students experience a sense of belonging and connectedness that respects diversity and identity.
  • Students are self-aware and regulate their own emotions and behaviours. Students have the social and emotional skills to develop and maintain positive relationships and engage in pro-social behaviour.

Student focused

Life skills around human development and risk awareness

Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Students cover the ten identified life skills across the three year continuum of Health and Physical Education, Food and Nutrition, during Roll Group sessions and Pastoral Care;

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Empathy
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Creative thinking
  5. Decision making
  6. Problem Solving
  7. Effective communication
  8. Interpersonal relationship
  9. Coping with stress
  10. Coping with emotion

Student focused

Emotional resilience and awareness and development of inner strength

Emotional resilience refers to one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. Resilient students can “roll with the punches” and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties, while less resilient students have a harder time with stress and life changes.

Both biological and social factors contribute to personality development, so there is something about being “naturally resilient” that is out of our control. However, psychological and social research have demonstrated that emotional resilience is something that can be learned or improved upon no matter what level of “it” we are born with.

Students investigate the eight characteristics shared by emotionally resilient people across the three year continuum of Health and Physical Education, Food and Nutrition, during Roll Group sessions and Pastoral Care;

  • Emotional Awareness
  • Perseverance
  • Internal Locus of Control
  • Optimism
  • Support
  • Perspective
  • Sense of humour
  • Handling troublesome emotions

The Three "I" Statements

Students will be nurtured to cultivate their resilience and life skills through applying the three” I” statements

  • I Have: strong relationships, structure, rules at home an role models; these are external supports that are provided.
  • I Am: a person who has hope and faith, cares about others, is proud of myself; these are inner strengths that can be developed.
  • I Can: communicate, solve problems, gauge the temperament of others, and seek good relationships—all interpersonal and problem-solving skills that are acquired.