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Overview

The SKIPS (Supporting Kids in Primary Schools) program is designed to increase teachers’ understanding of mental illness and their confidence in supporting children who live with a parent with mental illness. SKIPS gives grade 5/6 students appropriate language for talking about mental illness and increases their understanding of people who live with mental illness. It also helps to reduce the stigma of mental illness in the primary school community and in the wider community.

Learn how to Get started with SKIPS.


Download the SKIPS Brochure.

Download the SKIPS Postcard.


SKIPS in schools

The SKIPS program is sometimes run on a one-off basis. However, most schools request SKIPS be run on a two-year cycle for their grade 5 and 6 classes. 

Some schools might choose a more flexible approach, running SKIPS each year for grade 6 only, or each year for grade 5 only.

Where SKIPS has been presented to grade 5s only, there is an additional session of SKIPS (SKIPS +) for the grade 6 students who completed the program in the previous year.

SKIPS consists of two workshops for the whole school staff and three classroom sessions for grade 5 and 6 children. The program is delivered by two Presenters with guest speakers who talk of their experiences.

  • SKIPS is direct and honest about mental illness in families.
  • SKIPS helps primary schools understand and support children and their families when a parent has a mental illness.
  • SKIPS includes speakers who talk about their experiences to both teachers and students.
  • SKIPS offers practical strategies and resources for teachers and schools.
  • SKIPS has been presented in more than 60 schools since it began in 2000.
  • SKIPS won an Australia and NZ Mental Health Service Achievement Award in 2005.

SKIPS can only be run by registered SKIPS Presenters in schools which are members of the SKIPS community.

The staff workshops give all school staff:

  • an understanding of the impact that mental illness in the family has on children
  • insight into what it might be like to grow up with a parent with a mental illness
  • confidence in their ability to support those families and children
  • practical strategies.

The classroom sessions give children:

  • an understanding of mental health and illness
  • appropriate language for talking about mental illness
  • insight into what it might be like to experience a mental illness.

An optional parent information session is also offered for parents who want to:

  • learn about the effects of mental illness on parenting
  • know what their children are learning in SKIPS sessions.

Are there any schools running SKIPS in my region?

SKIPS is being delivered in various regions in Victoria, NSW, WA, SA, Queensland and Tasmania

For more information on the schools running SKIPS, please Contact Us.