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Smiling Mind will work with Victorian primary school principals and deputy principals to take a system-level approach to collaboratively improve school culture and climate and enhance workplace protective factors associated with principal wellbeing and mental health.

Traditionally principals are an ageing worker subset in the primary school setting, experiencing well documented workplace mental health issues. As leaders they also have a key role in building workplace cultures. This project aims to not only support principal wellbeing, but further embed mindfulness via a whole-school approach, led from the top.

Schools will be supported to document a plan of continual improvement to support sustainable change.

Smiling Mind will work with 80 school leaders and the wider teaching workforces over three years to:

  • Co-design a cultural and environmental change framework that is underpinned by mindfulness principles and practices, customised to each school and integrated across the school learning and working environments.
  • Provide school leaders and staff with training that can support them to lead the cultural change process, implement the program across their school and establish a proactive approach to school wide mental health.
  • Establish communities of practice between schools, ensuring ongoing program sustainability, and the continued evolution of mindfulness approaches in education.