connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support


RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.

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I like, like you

Preventative programs that promote the connection between healthy relationships and emotional health and wellbeing.

I like, like you: A healthy relationships program for primary and secondary schools

I like, like you: A healthy intimate relationships program for secondary schools

I like, like you is an early intervention relationships program that promotes the connection between healthy intimate relationships, and emotional health and wellbeing. With a strong emphasis on violence prevention and mental health promotion, the whole of school program introduces adolescents to the knowledge, practical skills and attitudes that promote healthy, equitable and respectful relationships. I like, like you is a three- to four-week program of Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) for high school students.

View this short video on our I like, like you program.

Aims

One of the differentiating aspects of the I like, like you program from other relationship education programs is the inclusion of program aims in addition to curriculum aims. I like, like you aims to provide a more integrated support service through strong partnerships between schools, health and community agencies, families and young people. The program helps to identify and prevent unhealthy relationships, family violence and mental health issues.

Program aims

  • To provide a preventative program for young people that integrates mental health promotion with violence prevention. Historically, these areas of work have been polarised in our sector.
  • To provide a preventative response to the impact of family violence, family breakdown and mental health issues on individuals and families, in addition to RAV’s core tertiary work in these areas.

Curriculum aims

  • To promote the connection between healthy relationships and emotional health and wellbeing.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to consider the kinds of relationships they want to experience in their future.
  • To provide practical skills for maintaining good mental health and healthy relationships
  • To promote attitudes and behaviours demonstrated by equitable and respectful relationships.

Students focus on how we experience ourselves and our relationships, what our bodies can reveal about our emotions, how our thoughts can influence our actions, and how ideas and beliefs can influence our identity. By learning how to have a better relationship with ourselves, we can learn how to have a better relationship with people who are close to us.

Topics can include:

  • what is intimacy
  • what a safe and healthy relationship looks like
  • how to identify when a relationship is not safe for you
  • attitudes that support and harm relationships
  • practical ways to maintain good mental health
  • how to manage the negatives and repair after conflict
  • technology safety and relationships
  • how to help yourself after a breakup
  • how to help a friend who is in an unsafe relationship.

As part of the program, young people integrate their experience of the program by developing their own promotions tool using a mixed media method. In small groups, students are encouraged to write a story, song or dance, develop a video or poster or perform a role-play to be shared in the final session of the program. The development of the promotions tool gives young people an opportunity to think about where they stand with the knowledge of the program’s content, to integrate the material into their own language and culture, and to create a group process where they have to discuss the material from their own standpoint.

Through our centre-based family violence work, RAV identifies primary and high schools in disadvantaged areas where high levels of family violence are present. Through its facilitation of I like, like you, we use a whole school approach with the administration and school support staff to identify children, young people and their families who are at risk, or who are already living in families that are unsafe.

Our program facilitators and school teachers are trained to be able to identify signs of abuse and arrange referrals to other RAV programs.

The programs are being provided in disadvantaged schools such as those in low income areas or located within growth corridor areas, where established resources may be lacking.

Evaluation

RAV has recently completed an outcomes evaluation of I like, like you. Preliminary results indicate that teachers and students report positive outcomes in relation to new knowledge and skills that students feel confident they can use in the future. These include an awareness of their feelings, understanding of good communication and ability to repair difficulties in relationships.

I like, like you UP: A healthy relationships program for primary schools

I like, like you: A healthy relationships program for primary schools is a preventative initiative developed by RAV. It utilises a whole school approach to promote the connection between healthy relationships and emotional health and wellbeing. The three-week program is an adaptation of RAV’s successful and popular secondary school program, I like, like you: A healthy intimate relationships program for schools.

Using a mixture of activities, games, and experiential exercises, the program focuses on the following themes:

  • Me: How to take care of yourself and identify what is a healthy relationship.
  • You: Practicing and learning about the skills and knowledge you need to communicate with people who are close to you.
  • Us: Being able to look after the ‘me’ and the ‘you’ together to create a healthy relationship

This program is designed to help children to develop healthy relationships with their friends, siblings, teachers, neighbours and parents. We believe that relationships involve three key parts…. a ME, a YOU and a US. In order to have a healthy relationship, we believe that all three parts need to be looked after.

Facilitators

RAV’s I like, like you programs are run by trained facilitators experienced in working with children, adolescents and families with training in social work, psychology and family and couple therapy. All RAV facilitators are required to have completed Police Checks and Working with Children Checks.

I like, like you for diverse communities and developmental life stages.

The I like, like you program’s strength lies in its flexibility. Its core idea in respect to the connection between emotional health and healthy relationships can be adapted to many age groups, developmental family stages and communities. The program has been adapted for adolescents between 13-18 years; upper primary school students; students with a mild intellectual disability; young people with an indigenous background and students who live in out of home care. The core ideas of I like, like you will also be developed for post-natal parents, and couples and young adults who have a mild intellectual disability.

More information

For more information about our I like, like you or I like, like you UP programs, including how they can be customised to meet the needs of your school and students, contact our I like, like you Program Coordinator by email or call (03) 8573 2222.