Building positive connections amongst students
Research suggests that young people will go to each other for support, before going to an adult. Progressive schools have realised that it’s best practice to have a select group of senior students trained to support their peers with personal issues.
Supportive Friends trains selected students to know how to identify, approach and listen with empathy to another student who is going through an issue. They are taught to follow a 5 Step problem solving model, and given comprehensive training to recognise when, why and how to pass on serious student issues to a responsible teacher.
How Supportive / Fantastic Friends works
Passing on BIG ISSUES to school staff is an imperative role of a supportive friend. Not only does it mean that the students get help from trained adults who can act immediately to address the concern, it also ensures that the supportive friend doesn’t have to carry someone else’s problem, which could potentially impact their own wellbeing.
Over the years Stride has received extensive feedback, stating that Supportive Friends has helped students shine the light on peers with issues such as Depression and Suicidal Ideation; subsequently these issues were then effectively handled by school staff.
Supportive Friends is such an important program to have in your school to ensure that senior students take the lead and look after their fellows, that we cannot recommend it highly enough! We trust you will agree.
Supportive Friends is designed for Upper Secondary Students whilst, Fantastic Friends is designed for Upper Primary Students.
Links to Australian Curriculum
Critical and Creative Thinking and Learning Continuum
- Seek Solutions and Put Ideas Into practice – Level 4, 6
- Consider Alternatives – Levels 4, 6
- Organise and Process Information – Levels 4, 6
Personal and Social Capability Learning Continuum
- Communicate Effectively – Levels 4, 6
- Become Confident, Resilient and Adaptable – Levels 4, 5, 6
The trained senior students have become more aware of the needs of others and now see linking students in need to their year level coordinator or to myself as a natural and positive thing to do. They are also more and better prepared to provide support directly.
Student Welfare Coordinator
“We are aware that this program has been directly responsible for potentially saving the lives of several young people.”