Schools program

Building resilience in our young people

In Australia, 70% of mental illness and suicidal behaviours begin between the ages of 12-25 years.

The Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) program is an effective way of promoting mental health, resilience and help-seeking amongst young people.

What is YAM?

YAM is a program aimed at addressing the mental health needs of young people, that involves discussion and role play. It aims to get young people involved and talking about mental health. By doing this, young people will learn problem solving skills and gain knowledge about mental health.


All Year 9 students in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

What will students learn?

YAM covers 6 main topic areas:

1. What is mental health?

2. Self-help advice

3. Stress and crisis

4. Depression and suicidal thoughts

5. Helping a friend in need

6. Who can I ask for advice?


The role-play sessions cover three themes respectively:


1. everyday choices and the outcome of one’s actions,

2. becoming aware of one’s feelings and how to manage stress and crisis situations,

3. listening to others and speaking about depression and suicidal thoughts.

How will YAM be delivered in our school?

YAM includes five sessions which are run over the three weeks. It is delivered in the classroom setting (up to 30 students) by accredited trainers external to the school.

The five sessions include three role-play sessions at the core, backed by one opening and one closing session that all rely heavily on the students’ participation (see program structure below).


What resources do students receive?

Students will be issued with a booklet to keep. The booklet outlines course content and includes a list of support services within the local area.