A free wellbeing toolkit to support Kiwi kids with their mental health and wellbeing has been launched by the All Right? campaign.

Sparklers consists of 36 activities that teachers can use to help their year 1-8 students become calmer, happier, and more ready to learn. The activities take between 10 minutes and 1 hour, are aligned with the school curriculum, and cover a wide range of wellbeing topics including managing emotions, living in the moment, being grateful and showing kindness.

Dr Lucy Hone, research associate at AUT University’s Human Potential Centre and All Right? Advisory Committee member, says Sparklers will help young people learn the skills they need to build positive mental health.

“Sparklers enables young people to learn strategies that improve wellbeing and build resilience. The activities are designed to help students feel good and function well, and improve their ability to cope with change and navigate the challenges life throws at them,” says Lucy.

Dr Hone says student wellbeing is strongly linked to learning.

“Students with high levels of wellbeing make better learners, find it easier to focus in the classroom and are able to build stronger and meaningful relationships,” says Lucy.

Dr Harith Swadi, Canterbury DHB’s clinical director for Child Adolescent and Family, says Sparklers has been developed in response to requests from schools for more support to meet the wellbeing needs of Canterbury students post-quake.

“Schools are crying out for more support so they can meet their students’ wellbeing needs,” says Harith. “There’s a tremendous desire amongst schools to do more in the wellbeing area but up until now there hasn’t been a lot of practical guidance on how to go about it.

“Sparklers pulls together evidence based wellbeing activities in a way that’s easy to implement in the classroom. The activities are simple, easy, and proven to work,” says Harith.

“We’ve piloted Sparklers in several Canterbury schools and the response has been amazing. Schools are incredibility enthusiastic about Sparklers and the activities are making a real difference,” says Harith

To find out more about Sparklers, visit www.allright.org.nz/sparklers

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