Protective factors can help reduce the occurrence of mental health issues, even when risk factors are present.
Risk factors include a range of influences and events including internal (biological and psychological), family or environmental characteristics, experiences and events that challenge social and emotional wellbeing, such as fire, flood, pandemic and other critical incidents.
What are protective factors?
Protective factors reduce the chances of poor mental health. These factors span across all individuals, families, early learning services, schools and the community.
With the majority of children and young people spending a large proportion of their time in learning settings, you play an important role as an educator in strengthening protective factors within your learning community. This is through elements such as:
- high-quality education and care
- fostering a sense of belonging
- and building positive relationships.
These are some of the factors that help individuals and communities to build resilience and to return to good mental health through times of risk.
For more information take a look at our risk and protective factors module topic within the Understand Professional Learning module.
Resources and links for your learning community
There are a range of Professional Learning options to support learning communities to strengthen protective factors. These include:
Being proactive with a critical incident plan
If you're interested in learning more about being prepared for critical incidents, take a look at the following:
Be You Bushfire Response Program
The Be You Bushfire Response Program provides targeted mental health support to schools and early learning services affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
The program is delivered by Beyond Blue in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia, headspace and Emerging Minds. The program also provides a range of free online resources accessible to anyone, including a Bushfire Response Resource Pack.
Find out more about on the dedicated web page.