Psychological safety is an essential component of our mental well-being, and in the world we live in today, it holds even greater importance. Recent events at Tarneit Senior College have brought to light the critical need for us to create environments where individuals feel safe, heard, and understood.

Following an unfortunate incident that garnered unwelcome media attention, several organisations came together to stand with students. Led by Wyndham City Youth Services and joined by Youth Projects, Werribee Tigers, Headspace, The Huddle, Junubi, FFV, Shooters Shoot, and others, this collective effort showcased the immense impact of community support.

Together we collaborated to provide vital support to the students. Including mental health check-ins, offering a safe space for students to share their feelings and concerns, and putting together lunchtime activities to foster social interaction and offer moments of respite. Above all, the central message conveyed was the importance of asking and listening. Encouraging open conversations and active listening is fundamental to creating an environment where psychological safety thrives.

Psychological safety allows students to express themselves without fear of judgment. It nurtures an environment where they can learn, grow, and develop academically, emotionally, and socially. It's the foundation for effective learning and personal growth.

These initiatives serve as a poignant reminder of the ongoing need to cultivate empathetic and understanding spaces. Psychological safety extends beyond schools; it encompasses our communities and workplaces as well. It plays a pivotal role in promoting open communication, building resilience, and enhancing overall mental well-being.

With R U OK Day coming up, let’s consider how we can provide psychological safety for others. Together, let’s ask the people in our lives, are you okay?

Written by Heidi Puronpää, Youth Projects' Community Partnership Coordinator for Transition to Work. Heidi, a first-generation Finnish-Australian, was born to Finnish immigrant parents on Yuin Land in New South Wales and raised in the City of Wyndham on Bunurong Land, and has a deep connection to her community. With over 7 years of experience in the youth sector, Heidi is currently studying a Master of International and Community Development at Deakin University. She has diverse experience through youth justice, program development, outreach, case management, and community development. She is a strong advocate for young people, who is passionate about creating opportunities to make a meaningful impact. Heidi also actively supports the Youth Projects's Youth Advisory Group and is on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Sources: Check out A Conversation Could Change a life | R U OK? for more information!