How does the schools program work within The Big Splash WA?
The education program is open to all schools in WA, allowing necessary education through the arts. It is a fantastic opportunity for schools to re-engage students, carers, parents and teachers in whole-school, whole-community conversations around a very serious issue that affects us all.
Key participant schools have purchased a dolphin for their students and community to decorate in Term 3 or 4 of 2017. School sculptures can then be publicly exhibited at ‘The Farewell’ event in March 2018. The Farewell event is an opportunity for all our key schools to join together and showcase their decorated dolphin sculpture. It is also an opportunity for schools to demonstrate their commitment to their commitment to their students’ mental health awareness and well-being.
Education Resource Kits
Education resource kits are also available to schools, putting creativity at the heart of the program. These kits, designed by Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation in collaboration with Perth Children’s Hospital mental health experts and other organisations, are age appropriate and give schools a great vehicle to engage everyone. The packs will include guidelines for teachers and parents to discuss mental health and well-being with their children.
The Big Splash WA Art Trail
From January to March 2018 there will be a major Art Trail of large dolphin sculptures in the Perth CBD featuring the work of commissioned artists for The Big Splash WA. This is a free, interactive trail that will provide schools, families and the general public with a fun, vibrant and engaging way to highlight mental health and well-being. There will be an accompanying phone app with extra links and information about The Big Splash WA. It is an ideal excursion for both primary and secondary school groups.
Major prizes will be on offer for participating schools who share their school and student’s participation in the program with us. Details around the prizes and criteria will be available in due course
Is The Big Splash WA endorsed by the education associations?
“Along with developing Literacy and Numeracy skills a student’s mental health is the greatest priority of teachers. Students need to feel safe, have a resilient nature and have the ability to interact in all areas with their peers. It is an unfortunate fact that teachers on a daily basis see students who face mental health issues that do and will affect their future lives. As educators and community members we are responsible for our future generations.
With the pressures from our complex world squarely on the shoulders of our young, we must work to listen to children and provide resources and programs to assist them on their journey. Innovative programs such as The Big Splash WA, organised by the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, speak to children in their language.”
President, Western Australian Primary Principals’ Association (WAPPA)
“Perhaps it’s just that we are now more aware of it, but over recent years I believe that the increase, impact and severity of mental health issues we are seeing in our society is being reflected more and more in our schools. This is an issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed. Using an education medium like the arts and strategies such as The Big Splash WA project to engage families and start the conversation, is definitely a step in the right direction.
Anyone can hand out a brochure – but ensuring that the information within that brochure is taken seriously is the challenge. Making sure the message is heard is a task for us all. That’s why WASSEA is happy to be working with other organisations including PCHF to ensure that this happens.”
President, Western Australian Secondary School Executives Association (WASSEA)
“A positive school community, social and emotional learning for students, working with parents and carers and helping children with mental health difficulties all have a positive impact on children’s mental health. Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students is important to schools as children who are mentally healthy learn better and achieve more, are motivated and committed, have positive relationships and are better able to meet life’s challenges. Promotion, prevention and early intervention are central to improving outcomes for children’s mental health.
Principals Australia Institute is proud to be collaborating with Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation on The Big Splash project, as it will certainly assist in increasing awareness, reducing stigma and increasing help seeking by children and adolescents who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.”
State Manager, WA Principals Australia Institute (PAI)
Why should our school participate in The Big Splash WA?
The clinical experts are telling us that early intervention is critical!
Young people in Western Australia identify mental health as one of the three most important issues in Australia today. An alarming 13% of young people identify that suicide is an issue of personal concern.
In WA, there have been increasing levels of self-harm and suicidal thoughts among young people. Four times as many young people (particularly 14 and 15 year olds) present to Emergency Departments in crisis, with repeated self-injury and attempted suicide compared to five years ago.
Mental health issues in children and young people tend to be minimised and not spoken about, with persisting feelings of shame and stigma in families which leads to a lack of advocacy for services and research in this vital area.
Early intervention is critical, which is why Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, the official fundraising body for Perth Children’s Hospital and advocate for positive health messaging, has joined with the clinical experts at Perth Children’s Hospital and Wild in Art to create The Big Splash WA.
How will we receive our Education Resource Kits?
All Education packs will be made available to you electronically to download from a protected, registered-schools-only login area of The Big Splash WA website. They can be shared within your school community. We are delighted to announce that all schools will soon be able to purchase the resource kits. Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page for when they will be available.
What other activities will be part of The Big Splash WA?
A vibrant art event will take place in the streets, parks and public spaces of Perth and surrounds in January through March 2018.
A huge pod of wildly colourful dolphin sculptures painted by local artists will swim into town as part of a mass public art exhibition to raise mass awareness and valuable funds for Perth Children’s Hospital, Child and Adolescent Mental Health unit.
Schools and families are encouraged to follow the art trail of life-sized dolphins around Perth CBD using the interactive app. More information regarding this will be distributed to schools later in the year. The Art Trail will be a fantastic excursion for students of all ages.
As part of your Art Trail visit, you can drop into the Art Hub at the end of January to participate in an art demonstration
All participating schools will be invited to proudly showcase their completed school dolphin sculpture at the public exhibition event ‘The Farewell’, in March 2018. .
How can we engage the parents and community at our school throughout the process?
Schools are encouraged to share the Parent notes in the Educational Resource Kits with all parents and carers. This will allow the whole school community to engage in conversations about children’s mental health awareness and well-being.
The Big Splash WA has also created three challenges that are open to anyone in Western Australia who would like to highlight child and adolescent mental health and support the mental health unit at PMH
You can also become part of our exclusive Big Splash WA – Schools Program Facebook Group. Participating schools will share photos of their dolphin being decorated, challenges being performed, and can share ideas with other school communities. Anyone is welcome to join this group and share in all our school dolphins journey’s.
Are there any competitions or prizes?
Major prizes will be on offer for participating schools who share their school and student’s participation in the program with us. Details around the prizes and criteria will be available in due course.
How much does it cost to participate?
School Resource Kits are available for:
Junior Pack- $330 (including GST)
Senior Pack – $330 (including GST)
Junior and Senior Packs – $550 (including GST)
Packs will soon be available to purchase. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for when these will be available.
How can our school fundraise to support the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at P.M.H?
If you would like to engage your school community further you may consider organising fundraiser for your school or wider community. If you are stuck on ideas to fundraise, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can I speak to if I have further questions?
If you have any questions regarding the program, please get in touch with us at email@example.com or telephone +61 (08) 9489 1100.