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Big Talks for Little People

The Big Talks for Little People Mental Health Classroom Module is a digital kit that aims to help primary school-aged students better understand their mental health and enhance their wellbeing. The six 40-minute lessons comprise a significant element of social and emotional learning and highlights the role of resilient and inclusive classrooms.

Since its establishment in 2020, “Big Talks for Little People” has produced incredible results including a 25% reduction in bullying in schools that have participated in the program. Given the effectiveness of the program, we are now implementing more ways to reach more children throughout 2024, including:

1. Big Talks for Little People – A Culturally Appropriate Program:

Facilitation of a culturally appropriate adaptation of the “Big Talks for Little People” program is currently underway. With a generous Medibank Better Health Foundation grant, the initiative aims to review and trial the program with Indigenous primary school-age children in 2023-2024. The Flinders University research team is actively engaged in working with Indigenous educators to ensure the program’s cultural relevance, and the trial is set to commence in Term 2, 2024.

2. Expanding Reach in Health & Physical Education:

Another exciting development is the funding provided by SA’s Department of Education for the trial of “Big Talks for Little People” in the Health & Physical Education curriculum. The trial is scheduled for Term 2, 2024 with hopes that this may lead to the program being part of the mainstream educational curriculum.

3. Global Impact: Turkey & Sweden:

Flinders University Professor Phillip Slee’s work has reached international shores, with researchers in Ankara, Turkey, and Sweden recognising the program’s potential.

In Turkey, a university-led initiative has translated the program into Turkish to support children traumatised by the 2023 earthquakes. Professor Slee has been liaising with Middle East Technical University’s Professor Özgür with the translation now completed and the associated schools and teachers on-boarded. The Turkish translation was co-funded by Breakthrough and Little Heroes Foundation as part of our ongoing partnership. 

In Sweden, funding from judo sports clubs is driving the translation of the program into Swedish for use in sports settings.

4. Sports Outreach in South Australia:

Through collaboration with BeyondBank, facilitated by Breakthrough, plans are underway to adapt the “Big Talks for Little People” program for use in sports clubs across South Australia. This initiative promises to impact the lives of children involved in sports, promoting mental wellbeing through a tailored approach.

5. Widespread Adoption in Australia:

We are thrilled to report that “Big Talks for Little People” is currently making a positive impact in over 50 schools across Australia.

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