Regional schools are encouraged to join 160 others in a national walk-a-thon that promotes mental health among school-aged children and young adults.
Peer Support Australia's annual Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon is back for its third year, and aims to build a sense of belonging, connectedness and a positive school culture.
"The past 18 months have been a whirlwind of emotions for Australian students who, in many states, have spent a part of their 2020 and 2021 education in lockdowns," CEO of Peer Support Australia Greg Cantwell said.
"Life as we know it has been far from normal due to COVID-19 restrictions, and that directly affects children and young people.
"By participating in the 2021 Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon, students are getting essential exercise and connecting with their peers - two vital building blocks towards good mental health."
The event combines a traditional walk-a-thon with conversation prompts, encouraging students to talk to one another and build relationships.
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The mental health of young children and adults in the pandemic has been documented over the last year.
According to the Black Dog Institute, more than 40 per cent of Year 12 students in 2020 reported symptoms of anxiety and depression.
This is an increase from the normal range for their age group.
Peer Support Australia encourages schools who are returning to face-to-face-learning this month, and those remaining virtual, to be flexible and creative in how they approach the initiative.
"Whether you're reconnecting in-person after a long time apart, or checking in with our communities virtually, it's the act of coming together to talk that holds true value," Mr Cantwell continued.
It also coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month this month.
Peer Support Australia is encouraging schools to participate a day of their choosing to promote mental wellbeing, with some holding their events in November.
Participation is free and schools can register for the event here.
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