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With students returning to classrooms after more than a year of remote working, many parents are likely relieved to have their child off the laptop and back amongst the school community.

However, the ramifications of the pandemic are far from over and many parents are more aware of their children’s mental health than ever before – particularly when it comes to the emotional and mental support their children receive upon return to regular school life.

Dulux and Smiling Mind understand the importance of mental health when it comes to young Australians, which is why they’ve partnered up for the Smiling Mind Spaces initiative. Launched in June, Smiling Mind and Dulux developed a free downloadable Toolkit to support primary school communities in creating their own mindful spaces to foster awareness, curiosity and connection from students.

Due to the overwhelming response to the initiative, which saw thousands of Toolkit downloads and over 1,000+ entries to the Smiling Mind Spaces competition, Dulux decided to extend the program for Spring by contributing to a further 100 Smiling Mind Spaces prize packs to the value of $750,000 to help more schools execute their space.

Equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to see colour used in multi-faceted ways (including in classrooms), Dulux was eager to lend its expertise to help curate specialty colour palettes that can be used by educators to create mindfulness zones in schools.

“A powerful tool, colour is a fantastic instrument that can be employed by schools to enhance and influence learning through the demarcation of spaces – this can help students engage and be attuned to mindfulness practices being advocated by their teachers and peers,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux Colour & Communications Manager.

Smiling Mind CEO and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Addie Wootten, acknowledges the importance of the partnership.

“With 1 in 7 primary school-aged students experiencing mental health problems every year, it is critical that we deliver proactive, prevention-focused mental health support from an early age,” Dr Wootten says.

While Dulux’s Spring extension has wrapped up, it’s not too late for parents to encourage their school community to access the Toolkit and start their mindfulness journey today!

TWO SCHOOLS’ WELLBEING STRATEGY AND MINDFULNESS SPACES JOURNEY:

Ithaca Creek State School (Queensland) was one of the hundred schools who recently received a Smiling Mind x Dulux Spaces gift pack.

Entered by Stephanie Blackwell (Year 5 teacher) she said, “I entered the competition because our school has been practicing daily mindfulness using the Smiling Mind App for about four years now and I wanted to invigorate and build on what we have been doing. Since COVID, I feel that the need for mindfulness has become even more important for our students.”

With its prize pack, Ithaca will be creating an outdoor mindfulness space to complement the natural surroundings. The demarcated zone will be used for Smiling Mind and philosophy lessons, weaving circles, yoga, NAIDOC week activities, art, a lunchtime meditation space and a place for staff and students to meet.

“We plan to use the Dulux Senses palette when creating our new space. Using our five senses brings awareness to our surroundings and brings us into the present moment. This space will complement our Jungle, Bush Tucker Garden and Fig Tree spaces perfectly because we can hear, see and be tactile in different ways when outdoors.

“Other schools who are interested in creating a similar space should access the Toolkit, as it is full of great ideas about colour schemes as well as links to the relevant Smiling Mind meditations and activities,” Stephanie adds.

Fisher Road School (New South Wales) was also selected as a recipient for a Smiling Mind x Dulux Spaces gift pack.

Fisher Road School Principal, Arianne McCombie says, “We believe that the Smiling Mind program is a very valuable program for all students. We have been able to make some adjustments to include all our students, even those with the most complex of disabilities. Our students benefit so much from this program, and we believe other schools that support students with complex disabilities should get on board!”

Using the Dulux Gratitude and Awareness palettes, Fisher Road will be turning two adjacent classrooms into quiet break out spaces.

“Mindfulness is being programmed into every student’s daily routine. The benefits of being able to regulate their emotions is having great results.

“Even though our students may not comprehend all aspects of the program, the core elements of breathing and mindfulness can still be taught and learnt. These strategies are proving successful with students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, many with complex behaviour and health problems. Mindfulness has helped to improve our school, staff and students,” Arianne adds.

To learn more about the Smiling Mind Spaces Toolkit and access resources to help equip you with the information needed to support your child and their school’s mindfulness journey, visit:

https://www.dulux.com.au/products/washandwear/smiling-mind-spaces

 

ABOUT THE SMILING MIND SPACES TOOLKIT:

The Toolkit is a guidebook to help school communities imagine and create healthier places to live, play, work and learn. It features colour palette ideas from Dulux colour experts, as well as tips on incorporating mindfulness into the school environment from Smiling Mind’s team of psychologists. The Toolkit covers five key areas: Awareness, The Senses, Gratitude, A Curious Mind and Resilience. 

ABOUT DULUX
Dulux is Australia’s most trusted paint brand since 1933. Industry leaders in both paint and colour, the company’s commitment to providing world-class products and services is backed by dedicated professionals in Marketing, Research and Customer Relations who are at the forefront of industry trends and developments. Dulux’s product solutions encompass a wide range of decorative and industrial brands and are purpose-built to suit the unique needs of the vast Australian consumer market. From Dulux® Wash&Wear® These are trade products add Dulux Weathershield® & Dulux® UltraAir®, Dulux’s portfolio delivers the best solution for all project needs.

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  • My child attends a flexible school where wellbeing is the number one priority. It is amazing !

    Reply

  • It’s certainly a great idea that should be in place at all schools permanently. If the last years have taught us anything it’s that we all need some help in someway or other.

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  • Every school should have a psychologist and a mental health check system especially after the last few years what some kids have been through

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  • I honestly don’t know- but would be a good idea.

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  • My little one is to young for school right now, but I hope to find a school for her with such things in place. It’s important to protect their little minds.

    Reply

  • Every school should adopt or have a plan set in place. Just completed my First Aide Mental Health Certificate accredited for three years and absolutely enjoyed doing on-line with a facilitator. My field is Mental Health so obtaining knowledge is so important.

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  • Very informative to know for when my little ones are old enough to go to school.

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  • My kids are too young for school at the moment but having this type of assistance for the kids is great, out kids have gone though so much in the last 2 years.

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  • My baby’s too young for school just yet but will be looking for a school with good mental health support in place

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  • Good on you Dulux. I’m sure the schools would really appreciate the extra help to set up calming spaces for their children.

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  • I do think something like this is very important for children.

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  • This is a great initiative. If kids can learn about mindfulness and mental health from a young age it may assist in many aspects throughout their lives.

    While I don’t know of any specific break out rooms for mindfulness at my daughters school I do know that mindfulness and mental health of the children is something they are including in their school activities. Even this week my daughter came home and mentioned they meditated in class. Throughout lockdown there was always mindfulness activities that were included in the activity grid.

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  • Fantastic idea. Wish they had thus in place when I was at school

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  • I think its a good idea. Well done

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  • I’m a bit on the fence here. While I think it’s a good idea, I’m not sure its a thing young kids need. I never had mental health checks as a kid and I grew up fine

    Reply

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