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Published by jsmalpage, 2018-11-22 02:37:55

ASPS Newsletter Term 4 2018

Psychology Services



2018 Term 4 | Issue 1 2018 Term 3 | Issue 1 018 Term 4 | Issue 1 Page age


As we head into the end of the year, we may not get less busy – but perhaps the urgency of our workload drops slightly. If
this is the case then at least we will be able to do lots with less pressure, so that has to be a win.

Of course, the sun is shining more, and the weather gives us a lift, so mood should increase too.
And we are heading towards the Christmas holiday break – personally, I’m a big fan of Christmas and all the excitement that
goes with it.

I am also, however, very conscious that this time of year is not a time of joy for everyone. People experience the stress of
domestic violence, financial stress, and disconnected relationships at Christmas just as much as others enjoy the opposite
(and more positive) experiences.

While some of us will look forward to relaxing and enjoying the Christmas break, others will just face a depressing mountain
of preparations and shopping and the last minute wrapping, stress. Even the day itself where we are exhausted by
lunchtime and it’s about ten minutes into the one day of the year when we get to see the entire family before we remember
why we only see the entire family for one day a year.

And that assumes that everything is going well – and I am well aware that there are lots of people for whom Christmas isn’t
perfect … people who will work over Christmas, or be separated from those they love, separated parents who don’t get to
see their kids because its “their ex’s turn this year”, and people who live away from family who won’t be with their loved
ones. And people for whom the year hasn’t gone well and for whom this Christmas doesn’t look like they’d like it to, and
people who will experience loneliness and pain at the loss of significant people this year.

This year both National Psychology Week and Mental Health Week focused on connectedness and relationships. And as we
head towards the end of the year, the long break is potentially both a time to connect with family and friends and also the
experience of separation from friends and family. For some the reality is that school is the place where they connect – with
peers (be that teachers or students). And therefore the holidays are a long period of disconnect.

Perhaps we can support people in preparing for the reality of this year’s long break.
Encourage people to keep up connections, manage stress well, utilise effective self-help strategies. Perhaps we can
encourage people to remember that Christmas is not the perfect postcard image and it’s not supposed to be.

I hope you find the various articles and information in our Newsletter useful and inspiring. As always, I encourage you to
contact me on [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions.

Paul Russell
Lead Psychologist
Coordinator AISWA School Psychology Service

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Be You

With much fanfare, Be You was launched earlier this month (
Be You is the result of Commonwealth Government funding of Beyond Blue in 2017 to develop a national
education initiative with delivery partners headspace and Early Childhood Australia, and which arose from a
review of mental health programmes.

It was designed to incorporate already funded programmes - including headspace in Schools, KidsMatter Early
Childhood, Kids Matter Primary (KM), MindMatters (MM) and Response Ability with the aim of increasing
integration to achieve one single, national end-to-end education-based programme.

Be You is centred on the Mental Health in Education Program and is focused on the education and training of
early learning, primary, secondary and pre-service educators. Funding has also been directed toward the
National Workforce Support Program, which is focused on providing education and training to clinicians and non-
clinicians working with children between the ages of 0-12 outside of the education space and delivered by
Emerging Minds.
Be You includes much content that formed part of the five existing initiatives – building on that foundation and
now located in one e-space. For example, the Suicide Response Toolkit produced by headspace can be found on
the Be You website, alongside information that could previously have been found in Beyond Blue tip sheets
programs directory from KidsMatter and MindMatters.

Be You is firmly focused on learning.

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Be You cont.

In a way that is similar to KM and MM, it has a number of learning modules in different domains – five in Be You
(increased from 4 in KM/MM). While the fifth Be You domain of ‘Responding Together’ focussed on critical
incidents is obviously a new addition, it is not true that the Be You domains are simply the four KM/MM domains
with one addition (a comparison table is provided below of the different modules).
Starting with the new Be You resource is as simple as opening up the website and having a look. Probably (and
logically) the best place to start is the home page which has links for different suers (educators, parents etc.) –
which are duplicated under the “getting started” tab.

There are also a few short handbooks to guide thinking and access. You will need to login to access and track
your progress through the learning modules (in the same way as KM/MM).

Mind Matters
Developing a whole school Resilience approaches and Information support Recognising and responding to
approach programs students experiencing difficulties
 Getting started  Adolescent development  Meeting parents' information  How schools help students
 Using data for planning and (students) needs  Youth mental health difficulties
success  Developing resilience  Communicating with parents  When should I be concerned?
 What is mental health?  Resilience programs and  Sharing concerns with parents  Helping individual students
 Relationships and belonging planning  Understanding friends & peers
 Empowering students
 Looking after your friends
 Who can help?
 Building support pathways
Kids Matters Primary
Positive school community Social & emotional learning Working with parents & carers Helping children with mental
health difficulties

 Understanding mental health  Introduction to social and  Home-school collaborative  Understanding mental health
and wellbeing emotional learning relationships difficulties
 Designing a positive school  Teaching social and emotional  Support for parenting  Recognising and responding to
community skills  Collaborative working mental health difficulties
 Relationships and belonging  Embedding social and emotional relationships  Supporting students to remain
 The practices of a positive learning within your school engaged
school community community
Be You
Mentally healthy Learning resilience Family partnerships Early support Responding together
 Understanding mental  Affirm the importance  Partner with families  Notice the early signs of  Recognise the potential
health and wellbeing of SEL and resilience through positive mental health issues impact of critical
 Connect through strong  Embed evidence-based relationships  Inquire sensitively about incidents
relationships SEL strategies  Assist families to foster an individual's  Respond collaboratively
 Include by embracing  Empower children and mental health and circumstances to critical incidents
diversity within the young people wellbeing  Provide support or
community referrals to children and
young people

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Page 4 age 4

Friends Resilience

The FRIENDS programs are Australian developed, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) based programs, aimed to promote
resilience in families, schools and communities.
The programs have demonstrated to be effective across all age groups from PP to Yr 12 - and into adulthood – in reducing
reported anxiety and depression symptoms and increasing resilience, self-confidence, self-efficacy, self-esteem and social
emotional skills. The Programs have also been shown to improve peer relationships and positive attitudes towards learning
and the school environment generally.
The AISWA Psychology service are currently in the process of becoming a Licensee for Friends, which will enable us to
facilitate AISWA schools in accessing the Friends programs – including the on-line PL and the resources necessary for schools
to be able to deliver the Friends programs. We will be able to formalise this relationship and provide more detailed advice
about how to access FRIENDS early in 2019.
For more information, check out the FRIENDS website (

Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training

Registrations are now open for Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training for the first half of 2019. Course dates are:

14-15 February 2019
25-26 February 2019
20-21 March 2019
23-24 May 2019
11-12 June 2019
20-21 June 2019
All listed courses are to be held at the Department of Education, Statewide Services in Padbury. There is no cost to attend
and lunch and a workbook are provided. Staff at AISWA schools can register using the following link to the Department of
Education Professional Learning Information System (PLIS) online calendar and select the desired event:
First time users will need to set up an account and get a ‘P number’ and password before logging in and registering for the
chosen workshop. (Indicate dietary allergies on registration and ensure completion of the registration process and
confirmation of attendance by generating an e-ticket for printing.)

Australian Student Wellbeing Framework

The new Australian Student Wellbeing Framework has been endorsed by the Ministers of Education. The new Framework
acknowledges the strong links between wellbeing and student learning outcomes and updates and replaces the National
Safe Schools Framework.

You can access the Framework via the Student Wellbeing Hub.
australian-student-wellbeing-framework#/ The Student Wellbeing Hub is a central online space with free, current,
curriculum-aligned resources for Foundation – Year 12 on a range of wellbeing and safety topics. See over for further

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PEARSON Beyond Working Memory Conference



Executive Functions: Implications for Learning

26 October 2018, Perth

A group of cognitive psychological scientists interested in research on education. The
main research focus is on the science of learning. (Hence, "The Learning Scientists"!).
Great section of downloadable material covering Six Strategies for Effective Learning.
Includes both colour and black and white versions of posters, bookmarks, stickers and
PowerPoint slides to teach the strategies. All the ideas are supported by research
evidence and references.

Andrew Fuller:

He is a Clinical Psychologist who works with many schools and communities in Australia and internationally, specialising
in the wellbeing of young people and their families.

Neuro-developmental differentiation (NDD): The science of differentiation and how it relates it to brain systems to
increase learning outcomes
NDD takes the research on positive education and resilience back into the classroom where it can make the most
powerful difference. Neuro-developmental differentiation equips staff to differentiate according to the strengths and
blockages in individual learners’ brains. The brain system areas include: Concentration and Memory, Thinking and Logic,
Spatial Reasoning, Number Smarts, Word Smarts, Perceptual Motor Skills, Planning and Sequencing and People Smarts.
Andrew Fuller’s website provides a self-assessment tool for students and parents/teachers to assist people to understand
how their brains work best. At, you can get a free personalised assessment of your learning
strengths. At the end of the assessment you will be emailed a letter outlining your top two learning strengths and a way
of developing an area that you are yet to fully develop which you will be able to download to keep.
Discussion paper for schools: implications for teaching from recent brain and learning research

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Beyond Working Memory cont.

The Centre for Attention, Learning and Memory (CALM) is
a research centre specialising in understanding how
children attend, listen and remember.

What is Working Memory?

Working memory (WM) is a system of linked components consisting of short term memory stores for verbal,
visual and spatial information, and a coordinating component that controls attention allowing individuals to
manipulate information for a very brief period of time, typically for 2-6 seconds. You are using your WM when
you are remembering a phone number or following a set of verbal directions, for example.

Also described as a mental work space, WM is limited in capacity and is subject to catastrophic loss unless the
information to be remembered is rehearsed. WM capacity steadily increases with age until around the age of 14
years old and these increases are related to improvements in the efficiency of processing and attention. WM
limitations are often shown in individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Specific Learning
Disorders, those with maths and reading difficulties, and in some genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome and
Williams Syndrome, however, some children have WM deficits unrelated to an underlying disorder.
What role does Working Memory play in learning?

Recent studies outlined by Dr Joni Holmes from the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge (UK) have
revealed that WM capacity is associated with school performance and is a predictive indicator of how well a child
will cope in school, including his/her academic achievement and the possibility of being at educational risk. This
is because children with low WM experience memory overload in structured learning activities that causes them
to forget crucial information.

Characteristics of children with poor working memory
Despite generally good social integration with peers, children with poor WM, in the absence of additional risk
factors, are often reserved in group situations and their academic progress in reading and maths can be slow.
WM overload leads to:

 difficulties in following instructions (a hallmark of WM deficits)
 difficulties in completing tasks that combine storage with demanding mental processing (mental juggling)
 problems in keeping track of their progress in complex tasks (place-keeping difficulties)
 the appearance of inattentiveness and distractibility due to forgetting what was required

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Beyond Working Memory cont.

Classroom support for children with poor working memory

An effective approach for children with poor WM involves the avoidance of memory failures in order to prevent
the child’s learning from being delayed and impaired. It rests upon seven core principles which, in many ways,
reflect current good educational practice. What is novel about WM support strategies is that a coordinated set of
approaches and strategies sharing a common purpose of avoiding WM load are focused directly on the child.
Interventions that compensate for poor WM have the potential to enable the frequency of task failures to
diminish, the child’s confidence to improve, and the rate of learning to be enhanced. Specific suggestions for
teachers include:

1. Recognise WM failures Warning signs include incomplete recall, failure to follow
instructions, place-keeping errors and task abandonment.

2. Monitor the child Look out for warning signs and ask the child.

3. Evaluate WM loads Heavy loads caused by lengthy sequences, unfamiliar and
meaningless content, and demanding mental processing activities.

4. Reduce WM loads when Reduce the amount of material to be remembered, increase the
necessary meaningfulness and familiarity of the material, simplify mental
processing and restructure complex tasks.

5. Repeat important information Repetition can be supplied by teachers or fellow students
nominated as memory guides.

6. Encourage the use of memory These include wall charts and posters, useful spellings, personalised
aids dictionaries, cubes, counters, abaci, Unifix blocks, number lines,
multiplication grids, calculators, memory cards, audio recorders
and computer software.

7. Develop the child’s own These include asking for help, rehearsal, note-taking, use of long-
strategies to support WM term memory, and place-keeping and organisational strategies.

Gathercole,S.E. and Alloway,T.P. (2008). Working Memory and Learning: A Practical Guide for Teachers. SAGE: London.

2018 Term 3 | Issue 1 018 Term 4 | Issue 1 Page 10 age 10

2018 Aspect Autism in Education Conference

The Aspect, Autism in Education Conference was held in Brisbane at the end of August. Speakers from the US, Singapore
and Australia presented on all things education as relates to students on the Autism Spectrum. One of the most thought
provoking series of sessions was held on something called the Social Emotional Engagement - Knowledge and Skills (SEE-KS)
framework which was developed by Emily Rubin and Jennifer Townsend. Emily Rubin was one of the keynote speakers and
has been instrumental in not only designing this framework but in implementing the framework across the southern states
of the US.

The SEE-KS framework provides educators and service providers with professional development opportunities guided by the
belief that all students can - and will- learn when instruction is designed for the benefit of all learners. Using Universal
Design for Learning (UDL) framework within multi-tiered supports, SEE-KS provides a systemic professional development
model that equips educators to understand the neuropsychological differences between students and then to design
instruction to meet their needs. The model encourages students’ social growth and results in documented improvement in
class culture and academic outcomes. This is achieved through coaching teachers using “appreciative inquiry” or posing
positive questions that build on an individual’s strengths.
The use of appreciative inquiry coaching in SEE-KS focuses on three key support areas:

1. fostering engagement,
2. presenting information in multiple ways and,
3. allowing multiple options for action and expression.
Rubin and Townsend have created a rubric of supports and questions across the key areas using language level as
components of how to provide support. For example, individuals in the Before Words Stage are described as communicating
through body language, gestures and facial expressions and not yet through speech, pictures, signs or assistive technology.
Those individuals characterised as in the Emerging Language Stage communicate through single words and brief or scripted
phrases using speech, pictures, sign language or assistive technology. Those in the Conversational Stage communicate using
sentences and conversational level discourse using speech, sign language or assistive technology. Determining an
individual’s communication stage helps to define what needs to be embedded to support the key areas. For example,
fostering engagement for individuals means we are providing them with an opportunity to predict the sequence of activities
and steps within activities. The supports to foster engagement are different for a student at the Before Words Stage who
may need direct access to concrete objects and embedded multimodal cues than for an Emerging Language Stage learner,
whose support may include access to written information paired with photos or graphics to use agendas and within task
schedules. An individual at the Conversational Stage may independently use agendas or have the ability to create tools like
agendas to predict the sequence of activities and steps toward completion.
The SEE-KS model provides similar structures to rate active engagement in using individual interests to motivate students to
learn under the area of Fostering Engagement. Similarly, the SEE-KS model helps teachers assess their ability to present
Information in multiple ways and allow for multiple options for actions and expression. SEE-KS encourages use of the
Student Engagement Ladder, a helpful tool for rating students’ engagement in classrooms on a descriptive scale ranging
from No Focus to Fully Engaged with descriptions of each level of engagement.
Information on SEE-KS, can be accessed by registering for a free account at

2018 Term 3 | Issue 1 018 Term 4 | Issue 1 Page 11 age 11

News from the Field

Post-disengagement follow-up
There is significant research to suggest that the time following discharge for suicidal intervention is actually a period of high
risk for suicide (or further attempts). Increasingly, however, this is also a prime period for effective action through follow-up.
There is a long research history of the effectiveness of brief contact follow-ups with patients discharged for a suicide
attempt (initially by letters posted in the 1960s to current text messages in a number of European studies).
While not treatment, these brief contact follow-ups (or ‘Non-Demand Caring Contacts’) have been shown to have a positive
impact, and increase efficacy and engagement with treatment. Increasingly, research is showing the positive impact
regardless of the nature of contact which started with letters, then calls and now includes e-mail or text messages.
The contact includes the person’s name, a validation of their distress and support services contacts. The non-demand nature
of these contacts mean that they aren’t simply appointment reminders. As such, this may be an especially effective tool for
school-based clinicians, who have reduced contact with individuals following referral to CAMHS or an external provider but
who see the value in maintaining contact and relational support.
REF: Luxton, D. D., June, J. D., & Comtois, K. A. (2013). Can postdischarge follow-up contacts prevent suicide and suicidal behavior? Crisis, 34(1), 32
Berrouiguet, S., Alavi, Z., Vaiva, G., Courtet, P., Baca-García, E., & Vidailhet, P. et al. (2014). SIAM (Suicide intervention assisted by
messages): the development of a post-acute crisis text messaging outreach for suicide prevention. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1). doi: 10.1186/

‘Mental health’ Dogs
A Spotlight article in Medical News Today recently has focused on the positive impact of dogs to wellbeing and mental
health. The range of positive benefits that the authors found supported by research included the suggestion that dogs make
us happier, more resilient when facing stress, likely to live longer, and physically healthier (although the physical benefits
appeared to come mostly from the person’s participation in walking the dog and other similar life adjustments).
The more obvious mental health benefits are found in reducing symptoms of depression and increasing resilience to stress.
It seems that interacting with dogs shoots up our oxytocin levels which in turn boosts wellbeing.

As one researcher from Duke University noted "dogs make people feel good, and their only job is to help people in stressful
situations feel better."
REF: Cohut, M. (26 August 2018). Dogs: Our best friends in sickness and in health. Medical News Today. Retrieved from:

APP-based mental health diagnoses

In a recent study conducted at the University of Sydney on 61 mental health apps, researchers found concerns about the
efficacy and validity. They found that the apps they reviewed tended to promote medicalization of normal mental states,
overly promoted personal responsibility, tended to rely on self-help (rather than therapy), and had problematic ways of
framing both mental illness and diagnosis. The researchers found that the two main problems in these apps were identifying
who has a mental health problem and how the problem can be managed.

While on-line applications and websites may provide easily accessible information, and any form of self-help can be useful,
it is no clear replacement for professional advice and support.

REF: Lisa Parker, L., Bero, L., Gillies, D., Raven, M., Mintzes, B., Jureidini, J., & Grundy, Q. (2018). Mental health messages in prominent mental
health apps. Annals of Family Medicine 16(4): 338-342.

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AISWA School Psychology Service Contacts

The role of the AISWA Schools Psychology Service (ASPS) is to provide a specialist psychology-based
service to AISWA schools in order to creatively and effectively assist schools and school staff in their
mission of supporting, engaging and educating their students.

To find the Psychologist who services your school, login into the AISWA website and go
to the ASPS information page under Inclusivity and Wellbeing.

Please contact Sue Mulholland on 9441 1632 or [email protected] if you require assistance.

Paul Russell Tammy Barnes
Lead Psychologist Psychologist
[email protected] [email protected]
Ph. (08) 9441 1674 Ph. (08) 9441 1634

Mandy Marett Julie Townsend
Senior Psychologist Senior Psychologist
[email protected] [email protected]
Ph. (08) 9441 1675
Ph. (08) 9441 1635

Bas Snijder Toni Tomlin
Psychologist Senior Psychologist
[email protected] [email protected]
Ph. (08) 9441 1640 Ph. (08) 9441 1629

Wendy Vasquez Katy Dias
Senior Psychologist
Senior Psychologist
[email protected] [email protected]
Ph. (08) 9441 1615 Ph. (08) 9441 1677

Larissa Roy Dana De Bunnetat
Senior Psychologist
[email protected]
[email protected]
Ph. (08) 9842 2100
Ph. (08) 9441 1676

Roger Coghill Jane Kirkham
Senior Psychologist Psychologist
[email protected] [email protected]
Ph. (08) 9441 1622 Ph. 0437 194 506

2018 Term 3 | Issue 1 018 Term 4 | Issue 1 Page 13 age 13

Suite 3/41 Walters Drive
Osborne Park WA 6017
+61 (08) 9441 1600
[email protected]

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