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The MacKillop Institute delivers a suite of evidence-informed programs to government, community, educational and corporate organisations across Australia and internationally. Our aim is to build the capacity of these organisations to deliver best-practice trauma-informed services to support children, young people and families who have experienced change, loss and trauma.

COVID-19 is reshaping the world and directly impacting every single one of us. The negative impact of COVID-19 on mental health is likely to be profound, with financial stressors combining with fear, isolation, and increases in domestic violence and alcohol consumption. It is acknowledged that mental health issues are likely to present for longer and peak following the pandemic. This is of significant concern when thinking about the children in communities impacted by recent natural disasters.

Research into children’s mental health during emergencies identifies that children are disproportionately impacted due to the loss of resilience factors such as support from family and friends. The risk is this pandemic will be a double-edged sword for children with the known impact of negative mental health and the requirement for them to be hidden from help whilst in isolation.

At the Institute, we are committed to supporting communities to understand the grief and loss we are all experiencing. We are helping school leaders to manage the mental health and wellbeing of students, parents and staff whilst we all navigate the COVID-19-world.

We are also focused on supporting fire and drought affected communities to recover from the grief, loss and trauma they experienced over summer.

We understand these often-difficult experiences impact children and young people’s wellbeing and their ability to develop to their potential. It is critically important for professionals working with children and young people to understand the impact of loss and trauma, and to develop the skills to create a safe environment to support them to recover.

Understanding how to create an environment that is culturally, physically, spiritually and socially safe for each individual can be complex. A trauma-informed framework is critical to empower children, young people and families to heal from loss, grief and trauma. Our frameworks - Sanctuary and ReLATE - are whole of organisation or school frameworks that provide tools and strategies to support the children and families you work with to engage in your service, or in learning.

Through the MacKillop Institute, we are sharing our experience of supporting vulnerable children and families to support you to strengthen your practice in your community.

Feelings and emotions come and go, like the seasons in a year come and go.

– 11 year old Seasons for Growth participant

For more information contact:

MacKillop Family Services' Institute

237 Cecil Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205