Iconic Safety Giraffe Healthy Harold Asks R U OK? To Help Aussie Kids

Iconic Safety Giraffe Healthy Harold Asks R U OK? To Help Aussie Kids
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



The loveable giraffe from Life Education has been supporting the delivery of health and well-being education to Aussie kids for more than 40 years – and has put his reach and support behind the R U OK? message, with a special emphasis on children.

“It’s a challenging time for children who have been in extended lockdowns in Australia. While many of them are doing very well, some are struggling. It’s important for us to support those kids and their teachers to start important conversations about wellbeing,” said Life Education CEO Kellie Sloane.

“Our children know their friends well- they often pick up when a friend is struggling. The simple act of asking “are you OK?” develops empathy and connections and deepens friendships.”

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton says that working with Life Education was a perfect way to help increase the message of friendship and support to children right across Australia.

“Looking out for one another and lending support is a key life skill for any age group. While children can’t be expected to fix someone’s problems, they can be encouraged to listen to what their friend is saying, show they care and tell a teacher, school counsellor or trusted adult if they are worried about their friend,” said Newton.

“Working together with Life Education and sharing the R U OK? message through their iconic Healthy Harold program allows us to introduce and emphasise the value of close connections and strong relationships in a familiar and age appropriate way. Together we can encourage children to look out for their friends by asking, “are you OK?”

Life Education and Healthy Harold have prepared a video lesson suitable for primary school children of all ages. It will be shared with teachers and is also available to parents.

Healthy Harold and his friend Lisa address the topics in a fun, age-appropriate way, providing practical advice for students to support their friends.

R U OK? have resources available for primary, secondary and tertiary educators and institutions to help students everywhere start a conversation. All resources are free and available to download from the R U OK? website.

“For students, learning how to support their peers and talk about how they feel is an important life lesson, so where better to start than in the classroom?” said Claire Goodall, R U OK? education manager.

“R U OK? resources for educators resources are aligned to the national curriculum and include a variety of teaching strategies in a toolkit of lesson plans including activities designed to support home learning.”

A 2021 Life Education survey of Australian families revealed 52 percent of parents believe the global COVID-19 crisis has impacted on the wellbeing of their children.*

“The study also found almost 60 percent of children were sensitive to the impacts of the pandemic on family stress levels,” Sloane said

The survey also found:

  • 65 per cent of children felt isolated
  • 49 per cent had increased irritability
  • 49 per cent were worried more than usual
  • 47 per cent were feeling sad

A high number of parents rated the resilience of their children as “inconsistent”, with 41 per cent of parents doubting the ability of their kids to bounce back from setbacks and stresses.

 




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