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Mental Health in Schools

Riverina Bluebell supports mental health in schools throughout the Riverina region with free presentations for secondary level students. Contact us to discuss a suitable program for your school.

Re writing the Codes

Tomorrow Man and their sister organisation Tomorrow Woman aim to disrupt traditional gender stereotypes and traits that have negative impacts on our lives. Their approach is highly engaging, working with participants to create healthier behaviours that better serve them, building resilience, self-confidence and peer support within the group.

In 2018 Riverina Bluebell worked closely with Tomorrow Man to deliver 18 workshops across several secondary schools impacting 608 teenagers and 75 men at ‘A Night with the Blokes’ community event in the Riverina region. The Tomorrow Woman workshops delivered in conjunction were sponsored by Riverina Bluebell.

Riverina Bluebell

Tomorrow Man & Woman Impact Report – 2019

Riverina Bluebell has provided Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman approximately $30,000 incl GST to go towards workshops within the Riverina with the aim to raise mental health awareness.

Between the 25th March to 4th April 2019, Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman delivered 44 workshops impacting over 1,300 young men and women in schools within the Wagga Wagga and Tumut regions. In addition, Tomorrow Man delivered three ‘A Night with Blokes’ Workshops in Wagga Wagga, Tumut and Gundagai, collectively impacting over 200 men.

This was Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman’s second trip to Wagga Wagga and third to Tumut. Last year, we worked hard with Jan and Denbigh and the Riverina Bluebell community to launch our ‘Night with Blokes’. This year, the word had spread a little from the previous year, and we achieved a solid turn out to the Wagga Wagga ‘Night with the Blokes’, considering the short turnaround time. The following week the team delivered two ‘A Night with Blokes’ in Tumut and Gundagai.

These workshops would not have been possible without the support of Riverina Bluebell contributing to the cost and coordination, especially for the Tomorrow Woman program. Workshops were delivered at the following schools:

  • Batlow Technical School
  • Gundagai High School
  • Kildare Catholic College
  • Kooringal High School
  • Mount Austin High School
  • The Riverina Anglican College
  • Tumbarumba High School
  • Tumut High School
  • Wagga Wagga High School
  • Yanco Agricultural High School

Night with Blokes were held at the following locations:

  • Wagga Wagga
  • Tumut
  • Gundagai

Tomorrow Woman School Workshops

The following stats are from a collation of 225 student evaluations from Kildare Catholic College, Kooringal High School, Mount Austin High School, The Riverina Anglican College, Tumbarumba High School and Wagga Wagga High School. These results are positive and represent strong outcomes for the participants we work with.

  • Participants rated the workshop on average an 8.8 out of 10 for value
  • 95.9% of participants reported that the workshop has broadened their views about what it means to be a woman
  • 94% of participants reported they have a deeper understanding about the pressures placed on the female stereotype.
  • 84% of participants feel more confident in their ability to have honest conversations
  • 82 % of participants would feel more confident in reaching out if they were struggling and needed help
  • 93% of participants would feel more confident in reaching out to someone else if they thought they needed help
  • 85% felt the workshop will change the way they interact with others
  • 84% of participants would recommend Tomorrow Woman to other females

Student Testimonials

Has the workshop changed the way you’ll interact with others?

  • “I want to be a lot less judgemental and make sure people know they have my support” (Yr 10 Tomorrow Woman participant, Wagga Wagga High School)
  • “Knowing more people have their own stories, that you should be more sensitive to their background as you don’t know what they have been through” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Wagga Wagga High School)
  • “I can speak without judgement” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, The Riverina Anglican College)
  • “I think I’m more confident to speak my opinion” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Mount Austin High School)
  • It gave me more knowledge of the women around me that go through similar things “ Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Kooringal High School)

What did you like most about the workshop?

  • “Being able to speak up and see other people for who they are inside and out” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Mount Austin High School)
  • “Being able to work through things as a group” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Tumbarumba High School
  • “Everyone supporting each other” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Kooringal High School
  • “Finding out about myself and what I like about me” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Mount Austin High School
  • “I liked being in a comfortable and supportive environment” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Kooringal High School
  • “Seeing everyone sharing things that they wouldn’t of shared before. The group in my eyes, are like family now.” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Wagga Wagga High School
  • “The empowerment” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Tumbarumba High School
  • We are all welcome and equal. We all got a chance to speak and not be judged” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Mount Austin High School
  • “Feeling I’m not alone” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, Wagga Wagga
  • “ Yes because I know others are also struggling and I’m not the only one” (Tomorrow Woman Yr 10 participant, McAuley Catholic Central School

Tomorrow Man School Workshops

Together with the support of Gotcha4Life and Riverina Bluebell , Tomorrow Man workshops returned to Wagga Wagga and Tumut.

Here are a few of our facilitators reflections.

“Our return trip to Wagga Wagga last term kicked off at Kooringal High School. Halfway into the session, a footy dude spoke with gravity about losing three people close to him within a week and how crushing that was for him. Another lad walked into the workshop just as the footy guy started to speak. Once he was finished, the new guy said to him: “Look, mate, to be honest, I’ve always thought of you as a flog. We obviously play footy against each other and have a bit of a biffo here and there. But after hearing you talk like that, I’ve got so much more respect for the bloke you really are”. We love working in Wagga Wagga, there’s something about country lads” – Ryder

“Tumba lads are wild. Before each session, teachers warn us to watch out for so and so. The “So & So’s” always end up being the biggest legends of the workshop. Having worked with these guys three times over the last year or so, seeing their growth in confidence is astonishing. For their third workshop, we explored the “History Of Man”, how we’ve evolved and how the people, places and moments have shaped the men we are today. Shit got primal…” (Tomorrow Man facilitator about Tumbarumba HIgh School)

“Love my Batlow Boys. It’s probably the smallest school we visit on our Tumut trips. So small that there are only two boys doing year 12! Most of the students are so grateful for the confidence that the school has provided them with. Because student numbers are so low, it means that the young men (and women) have a real say in the culture they want to create for one another. It’s like a good family” (Ryder, Tomorrow Man)

It’s pretty sweet when your school’s logo is of a dog who loyally guarded his owner’s tuckerbox even after he died. “The Dog On The Tucker Box” is an Australian historical statue, 8km from Gundagai. This was our third time back at Gundagai High School, running our third offering “History Of Man”. (Ryder, Tomorrow Man)

“It was put simply by the first young bloke that volunteered his story, “I’ll jump up coz I know the other boys have way more hectic stuff going on but they’d be too scared to share.” You could feel it in the room that these boys were sitting on something. But the way this fella spoke, it ignited something in the rest of the group. One by one they each told their own story. Some spoke of having to grow up too fast. Others spoke of the need to challenge dysfunctional family cycles, “I’m tired of the lies and everyone pretending it’s ok. I just want the truth. I feel like it’s my responsibility to make that happen.”

These boys had a fire in their bellies and were hungry for change. But although they spoke of carrying this weight on their shoulders, the fellas made a pact to look out for each other. No more doing it on their own – the load would be shared. By the end of the session, we were absolutely speechless with a tonne of admiration for these lads!” (Will, Tomorrow Man)

   

 

Night with Blokes

  • Wagga Wagga
  • Tumut
  • Gundagai


Image: Wagga Wagga Blokes Night


Tumut Blokes Night


Gundagai Blokes Night

Thank you especially to everyone involved in making these nights happen. The following stats are from a collation of 10 online evaluation results collected from Tomorrow Man A Night with the Blokes- Wagga Wagga. We find it difficult to engage the Blokes in filling out the evaluation forms, therefore we have created an online version, which was helpful in getting some feedback. These results are really positive and represent strong outcomes for the participants we work with.

  • Participants rated the workshop 9 out of 10 for value
  • 87.3% of participants reported that the workshop has broadened their views about what it means to be a man
  • 98.41 % of participants would feel more confident in reaching out if they were struggling and needed help
  • 96.83% of participants would feel more confident in reaching out to someone else if they thought they needed help
  • 93.65% felt the workshop will change the way they interact with others
  • 87.3% reported that the workshop has given them a deeper understanding about the pressures placed on the male stereotype, and how it can affect them directly
  • 92.06% felt that the workshop would better help them deal with the pressures of being a male
  • 96.83% felt more confident in their ability to have honest conversations with other guys
  • 100% of participants would recommend Tomorrow Man to other males

Testimonials

How valuable do you feel this Tomorrow Man workshop was?

  • “The fact that everyone can relate in some way no matter what age or ethnicity they are. There is always someone that will listen” (Blokes Night Participant, Wagga Wagga, March 2019)
  • “Just that all of us are going through stuff and that it helps to be able to share that” (Blokes Night Participant, Wagga Wagga, March 2019)

Do you think the workshop will change the way you interact with others?

  • “Better listener. More comfortable asking the awkward or uncomfortable questions” (Blokes Night Participant, Wagga Wagga, March 2019)

Has the workshop given you a deeper understanding about the pressures placed on the male stereotype and how they can affect you?

  • “Yeah, didn’t realise how much unconscious shit I’ve taken on” (Blokes Night Participant, Wagga Wagga, March 2019)

Is there anything you particularly liked about the workshop?

  • “Sharing and feeling a sense of community” (Blokes Night Participant, Wagga Wagga, March 2019)
  • “How much you can find out about a stranger in a short time” (Blokes Night Participant, Wagga Wagga, March 2019)

Tomorrow man School Workshop

  • Participants rated the workshop an average 8.7 out of 10 for value
  • 100% of participants reported that the workshop has broadened their views about what it means to be a man
  • 98.14 % of participants would feel more confident in reaching out if they were struggling and needed help
  • 100% of participants would feel more confident in reaching out to someone else if they thought they needed help
  • 98.14 % felt the workshop will change the way they interact with others
  • 92.6% reported that the workshop has given them a deeper understanding about the pressures placed on the male stereotype, and how it can affect them directly
  • 100% felt that the workshop would better help them deal with the pressures of being a male
  • 96.2% felt more confident in their ability to have honest conversations with other guys
  • 98% of participants would recommend Tomorrow Man to other males

Has this workshop broadened your views about what it means to be a man?

“A man should feel comfortable talking about his struggles “ (Yr 10 Breaking the Man Code Participant, The Riverina Anglican College)

“It showed that you don’t have to hide your feelings and emotions to be a man” Yr 10 Breaking the Man Code Participant, The Riverina Anglican College)

What’s next

We are looking forward continuding our relationship with Riverina Bluebell and hope that we can support the Riverina community. We are hoping to travel to Deniliquin & Finley during the week of Monday 7th – 10th Oct. During this trip we are looking at delivering 1 – 2 Night with Blokes in Finley and/or Deniliquin, in conjunction in delivering Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman workshops within the following schools:

  • Deniliquin High School
  • Finley High School
  • Deniliquin Christian College

 

Tomorrow Man Brochure
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5924dde120099e71379f145d/t/5c7354551905f442e801ff40/1551062107183/Tomorrow_Man_Breaking_the_Man_Code_3pg_EMAIL.pdf

Tomorrow Woman Brochure
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5924dde120099e71379f145d/t/5c7354e98165f58920d2d2ef/1551062255351/Tomorrow_Woman_Brochure_3pg_EMAIL.pdf

Here is a little about the 2018 Riverina events:
https://www.tomorrowman.com.au/medial/2018/10/29/community-activation-in-wagga-wagga

Black Dog Institute Programs
Black Dog Institute Educational Page

Reach Out Schools

ReachOut Schools helps your school take a wholeof-community approach to developing student mental health and wellbeing.

ReachOut Schools provides free educational resources, digital tools and practical tips to encourage the development of positive mental health and wellbeing across schools, and to extend the impact of existing programs.

The service features easy-to-understand information on a full range of mental health and wellbeing issues. Our school resources include innovative digital apps and online games to help students learn to take control of their mental health.

Staff and parents can use ReachOut to better understand the issues young people face, and as a safe place they can recommend to students.

School professionals can also access a range of professional development webinars and information, with resources added throughout the year.

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Nic Newlingnicnewling

Nic Newling is an outspoken advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, and sharing personal stories. Having lived through the experience of suffering with a mood disorder throughout high school and losing his brother to suicide, he has since dedicated himself to changing the way mental illness is addresses in schools, workplaces and communities.

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Introduced by Caroline Jones

This week’s program takes us into the world of a family called the Newlings. On the face of it, their lives seemed perfect.

Phil Newling recalls looking at his three young sons and saying ‘how long is this going to last – can we just lock this in now and not change anything?’   But when the bright boys became teenagers lightning struck – and not just once, but twice.

This program charts the story of Christopher ‘Cricket’ Newling and his younger brother Nic. It documents a remarkable journey back from the brink and a life now dedicated to helping others.

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