22 February 2024

Support wellbeing and hauora

Address health needs for student wellbeing and hauora.

Use the Mana model

Use the Mana model

A holistic approach to leaving school includes maintaining lifelong health and wellbeing.

Melinda Webber explains the Mana model, which features in Mental Health Education: A Guide for Teachers, Leaders, and School Boards.

Plan for social support

Plan for social support

Support students to develop the social side of their transition plan.

Pose questions such as:

  • Who is important to me?
  • How will I keep in touch with my friends when I leave school?
  • Who will be my support people when I leave school – at home, at my tertiary institution, at work and in the community?
  • What can I do now to build social connections? 
  • Are there new things I would like to try?
  • What skills do I need to learn to support my independence?
  • What places and activities are important to me?

Adapted from: My friends, relationships and community (PDF, 620KB) – Bath and East Somerset Council, UK

Foster identity and self-advocacy skills

Foster identity and self-advocacy skills

Future planning is dependent on identity and self-awareness.

Use the Health and Physical Education curriculum materials to explore the unique things that make up identity. The resource includes: Oho – My identity cards, Ata – Emotion cards, and This is me – my identity activity sheet. 

Foster identity, self-knowledge and self-awareness through real experiences when possible:

  • Identity – whakapapa, heritage, and links to people, places and ancestors.
  • Cultural identity and recognition of the place of Māori as tangata whenua in Aotearoa.
  • Self-knowledge – personal aspirations, strengths, weaknesses, and motivations.
  • A sense of self and an ability to imagine a future self.
  • Aspirations for lifestyle that are strongly influenced by culture and context.
  • Awareness of personal, social, psychological, and environmental factors.
  • Awareness of the influences from whānau and community.

This is me – my identity – Health and Physical Education.

Offer tools to manage anxiety

Offer tools to manage anxiety

Introduce students to resources and tools that can help them manage their anxiety or feelings of being overwhelmed or stuck.

  • SPARX is a gaming-style tool from the University of Auckland. SPARX helps young people learn skills to build resilience, and to power through stressful and negative emotions.
  • The Lowdown is a space created with rangatahi, for rangatahi. Supports hauora, identity, culture and mental health.

Use the five ways to wellbeing

Use the five ways to wellbeing

Five Ways to Wellbeing sets out five simple, evidence-based actions that can improve wellbeing.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand website has a toolkit with a range of factsheets, tips, tools and templates to build the Five Ways to Wellbeing in everyday life.

Access support for wellbeing

Access support for wellbeing

Make connections to local organisations that can provide support for young people.

Introduce students to local support networks, such as:

  • iwi
  • youth centres
  • disabled youth movements, such as i.lead
  • local sports, community and church groups.

Access services provided by Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand, such as:

  • kaupapa māori wellbeing services
  • pacific-led wellbeing services 
  • wellbeing services from local doctors
  • youth wellbeing services 
  • rural wellbeing services
  • digital tools
  • helplines with trained counsellors.

For more information see: Boost your wellbeingTe Whatu Ora Health New Zealand.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Prepare students with future-focused skills”:

Return to the guide “Preparing students to leave school”