This lesson explores help-seeking strategies, by assisting students in learning to ask for help. Students unpack scenarios, learning about inclusivity, equality and respectful relationships.

Year level



60 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies

Social awareness

Relationship skills

Responsible decision-making

Learning intention

Students learn about the skills and strategies that can be used to promote inclusivity, equality and respectful relationships, and those that can be used to manage change and challenges and to seek help.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the ways a sense of belonging can be shaped

  • explore individual support networks and external support services.

Materials needed

  • Access to the article 'How to call a helpline'

  • Access to the article 'What happens when I call a helpline'

  • Access to the article 'What are mental health professionals'

  • Access to the article 'LGBTQI support services'

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse and reflect on the influence of values and beliefs on the development of identities (AC9HP8P01)

  • Refine protective behaviours and evaluate community resources to seek help for themselves and others (AC9HP8P08)

  • Analyse factors that shape identities and evaluate how individuals influence the identities of others (AC9HP10P01)

  • Plan, rehearse and evaluate strategies for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety or wellbeing may be at risk (AC9HP10P08)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Social awareness

    • Self-management

  • Intercultural Understanding

    • Navigating in intercultural contexts

    • Reflecting on culture and cultural diversity

    • Engaging with cultural and linguistic diversity

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Examine and demonstrate the role help-seeking strategies and behaviours play in supporting themselves and others (PD4-2)

  • Apply and refine interpersonal skills to assist themselves and others to interact respectfully and promote inclusion in a variety of groups or contexts (PD4-10)

  • Assesses their own and others’ capacity to reflect on and respond positively to challenges (PD5-1)

  • Critiques their ability to enact interpersonal skills to build and maintain respectful and inclusive relationships in a variety of groups or contexts (PD5-10)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Investigate the impact of transition and change on identities (VCHPEP123)

  • Examine the benefits to individuals and communities of valuing diversity and promoting inclusivity (VCHPEP132)

  • Examine the impact of changes and transitions on relationships (VCHPEP143)

  • Plan, rehearse and evaluate options (including CPR and first aid) for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety and wellbeing may be at risk (VCHPEP144)

Show details

Activity 1

Speed chat! Individual support networks/Communicating with friends

35 minutes

Supporting others and having the support of others is one of the key elements in building respectful relationships. Building a network of support can assist us when we are going through tough times and encourage us to seek help when needed. Being part of a support network means it’s important that we practise the skill of recognising when our friends are not okay.

Read out this scenario:

Lee is 14, has a large group of friends and is normally the life of the party. He has recently developed a crush on his best mate, Ben. He is having a hard time working out his feelings and doesn’t feel able to share them with anyone – particularly Ben, as he doesn’t want to lose their friendship. Lee doesn’t feel his large group of mates will understand him either, as he has heard them use derogatory terms such as ‘faggot’ and ‘homo’ when talking about other students. Lee’s friends have noticed he has stopped hanging around them, both at school and on weekends, and is no longer chatting with them online.

  1. Move students to a large free space.

  2. Position students facing each other, in pairs. One person indicates they are Person A; the other, Person B.

    • Person A asks questions 1, 3, 5 and 7.

    • Person B asks questions 2, 4, 6 and 8.

  3. Students are provided with the speed chat questions (see below) and are to ask their first partner question 1. Each pair has one minute to discuss their responses.

  4. Student A moves one space to the left. Student B remains in the same place and their new partner reads out the next question, which Student B answers. This process is repeated until all the questions are answered.


  1. What indicators are there that Lee isn’t okay? Include examples of what he may look/sound like online and in face-to-face contexts.

  2. What barriers may Lee be facing with sharing his feelings?

  3. What qualities and characteristics do people need in order to be part of a network of support?

  4. What are the strengths of using text/online chat to ask if Lee is okay?

  5. What are the weaknesses of using text/online chat to ask if Lee is okay?

  6. What threats arise from using text/online chat as forms of communication to ask if Lee is okay?

  7. Discuss a situation where you have asked a friend if they are okay. How did you ask?

  8. What immediate supports are available for you and a friend at school and online if you or they are not okay?

Whole-class discussion: Who is in your network of support?

Activity 2

Exploring help online: Summary sheets

25 minutes

This activity enables students to learn more about professional help when going through a tough time.

Read out this scenario:

Charlotte recently had an argument at school with her friend Ellie that continued online after school. Over the next two weeks, Charlotte sent multiple messages to Ellie telling her they were no longer friends, that she hated her and that no one at school liked her anymore. Charlotte has stopped going to school and has shut out all her friends in fear of what more could be said to her. She feels alone and unable to share with anyone what’s going on.


  • What help is available for Charlotte?

Students explore gathering information about support. Some suggested articles:

Students create a 10-point summary sheet, and discuss.


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