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Creating a lifetime of change

Our Work: A Future all children deserve

Half of all mental health conditions have started by age 14*

Yet children under this age historically had limited access to mental health services in Australia.

KidsXpress exists to ensure that children are getting the help they need, in the way they need it and when they need it.

Childhood mental health issues often arise from experiences of trauma and a stressful home environment. Our trauma-informed Expressive Therapy and Education services combine psychology and the creative process to support primary school-age children and their caregivers.

(*Kessler, R.C., et al., Lifetime prevalence and age-of onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders 2005).

See the signs. Heal the hurt.

Half of all mental health conditions emerge before age 14*, yet signs of a struggling child often go unnoticed. It can sometimes be challenging to distinguish between typical childhood behaviours and signs of underlying mental health concerns. While children naturally go through various emotional and behavioural changes as they grow, there are some signs that suggest there may be a need for closer attention. Early action is key to prevent issues growing with a child into adulthood. Our resource guide is a great starting point.

(*Kessler, R.C., et al., Lifetime prevalence and age-of onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders 2005).

Download Free Guide

Our Annual Impact

Mental ill-health affects 1-in-7 Australian children, yet fewer than 25% are accessing care.

Without support, the impact of their condition can grow with them into lifelong challenges. We’re on a mission to change that.

  • 2,577

    students were reached by us in 2023 through our School Partnership Program.

  • 183

    teachers were supported through our School Partnership Program in 2023.

  • 91.7%

    of children who attended KidsXpress identified positive change in themselves.

    (CORS, 2023 Term 2)

  • $1 : $2.76

    is our cost benefit ratio, meaning that for every $1 invested in KidsXpress a return of $2.76 is generated in social value.

    (DAE, 2015, p.46)

KidsXpress is like a hospital for birds with injured wings. You leave when you can fly again.

10-year-old girl, former client

You didn’t just help my child but my whole family. You were our safe harbour during a period of storm.

Mother of former client

My son is still in my life today because of KidsXpress.

Mother of former client

We’d been screaming out, ‘what else can we do for our students?’ and this is it. This partnership with KidsXpress.

BPS Principal

KidsXpress isn’t a program. It’s a relationship that we build together based on the needs of our students.

HPPS Principal
KidsXpress
KidsXpress
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Emily's Story

Emily's Story

At just ten years old, Emily* faced a distressing situation, common to many schoolchildren but one that none should have to endure

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Media Release

Media Release

KidsXpress calls for more government support to increase access to mental health services for children aged 12 and under.

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High School Transition

High School Transition

Moving to high school is one of the key milestones of a child’s life. In Term 3 of 2023 we conducted a survey for Year 6 students for the purpose of understanding their thoughts and emotions about this transition.

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Our work in the Snowy Valleys, NSW

Our work in the Snowy Valleys, NSW

In the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/20, KidsXpress swiftly moved into action to deliver a tailored trauma-focused program for the purpose of community rebuilding and socio-emotional rehabilitation.

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Manny’s Story

Manny’s Story

When Manny was 6 years old his father was incarcerated on drug charges. The two years that followed weren’t easy; his mother sometimes struggled to cope with the demands of parenting four children alone.

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@kidsxpressmentalhealth
When our child is in the midst of a tantrum or has made a mistake that they’re struggling to cope with, their world might feel overwhelming. In those moments, the empathy and kindness we offer them serve as a guiding light, showing them that it's okay to feel what they feel and that they are unconditionally loved and supported.  But why is this so important? Well, think of it as planting seeds in a garden. When we respond to our child's emotions with empathy and kindness, we're nurturing the roots of their emotional intelligence. We’re teaching them how to understand and regulate their own emotions, a skill that will serve them well throughout their lives.  Moreover, by modelling empathy and kindness, we’re not just showing our child how to treat others, but also how to treat themselves. The way we respond to their struggles today will shape the way they approach challenges and setbacks in the future. Instead of harsh self-criticism, they'll offer themselves the same empathy and kindness they've experienced from us, their parents. The more we do this, the stronger the foundation for a future filled with self-compassion and resilience.  #childmentalhealth #mentalhealth #parenting #parentingtips #emotioncoaching
Eight-year-old Jason has been on our waiting list since March, suffering from sleeplessness, headaches, and school refusal. After a work restructure, his mum is struggling to find a new school-friendly job which, combined with a 30% rent increase and other rising living costs, is causing family strain. The family is forced to consider moving, which Jason dreads due to fear of losing his school and friends. He repeatedly asks his dad, "Are we poor?" Their GP suggested Jason's symptoms were anxiety-related and recommended Expressive Therapy with us. With 45 other children on our wait list, Jason's case highlights the urgent need for assistance to prevent these issues from becoming lifelong problems. Consider making an EOFY tax-deductible donation to help us get more children like Jason into therapy sooner. Link in bio.
Finding balance is essential for self-care and mental health. It's important not to stay too far in our comfort zone, where we risk stagnation and miss opportunities for growth. At the same time, we must avoid venturing so far outside our comfort zone that we become overwhelmed and risk burnout or failure. The key is to find that sweet spot where challenge meets capability, allowing us to stretch and grow without overextending ourselves. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it's good to store this quote somewhere in the back of our mind. Striving for balance is all we can do.  #SelfCareSunday
Have you ever told a distressed child to stop crying and just "use your words"?  This well-intentioned phrase aims to encourage children to articulate their feelings or describe what has upset them. The idea is understandable, after all, how can you help a child if you don’t know what upset them or how they’re feeling about it? However, it's important to recognise that when children are deeply distressed, they may not have the vocabulary or emotional regulation skills to express what they're feeling.  This can lead to increased frustration and a sense of inadequacy. Instead, consider providing children with creative outlets to process and communicate their emotions:  1. Drawing or Painting: Encourage your child to draw or paint what they are feeling. Art can be a powerful tool for expressing emotions that words can't capture.
Eg: "Let's draw how you're feeling right now. Use colours and shapes to show me."  2. Storytelling: Invite your child to create a story or play with their toys to act out what they are experiencing.
Eg: "Can you tell me a story about what happened today using your toys or puppets?"  3. Music and Movement: Use music or dance to help your child express their emotions physically.
 Eg: "Let's play a song that matches how you're feeling and dance it out together."  4. Clay or Playdough: Allow your child to mould and shape their feelings with clay or playdough, providing a tactile way to explore their emotions.
Eg: "Let's make something with this clay that shows how you feel inside."  These methods offer children alternative ways to express themselves, which can be more accessible and less stressful than finding the right words. By providing a variety of creative outlets, we can help children process their emotions in a healthy and supportive environment, using the language they know best – creativity.  #ChildDevelopment #ParentingTips #ExpressiveArts #EmotionalExpression #MentalHealth #ChildPsychology #CreativeOutlets #ExpressiveTherapy #CreativeTherapy #CreativeArts
This quote speaks to the deep connection between childhood experiences and adult behaviour. When children are consistently shamed for making mistakes, they internalise this negative reaction. As adults, they might struggle with self-worth, feeling intense shame whenever they err. This can hinder their ability to learn and grow, as they may become overly critical of themselves.  For example, imagine a child who spills milk at the dinner table and is harshly scolded for being 'careless'. Over time, this child might learn to associate mistakes with personal failure rather than opportunities for learning. As an adult, this person might struggle with perfectionism, feeling inadequate whenever they make even minor mistakes at work or in relationships.  Conversely, children who are guided with patience and understanding learn to view mistakes as part of the learning process. If the same child who spilled milk is instead gently told, "It's okay, accidents happen. Let's clean it up together," they are more likely to develop a healthy relationship with their own imperfections.  The way we respond to their errors today shapes their resilience and self-acceptance tomorrow.  #ChildDevelopment #ParentingTips #MentalHealth #Resilience #SelfWorth #ChildPsychology #ChildMentalHealth #EmotionCoaching
Sometimes we come across two children who've experienced similar upbringings, traumatic experiences, and/or family challenges, yet one child seems to be coping a lot worse than the other. While we can't always know what's going on for both children, on the surface, the second child appears to be less impacted by the same difficult circumstances. This might be for many reasons, but one reason for this difference in resilience can often be attributed to the presence of a supportive figure in the second child's life. Whether it's a grandparent, teacher, coach, or another mentor, having someone who consistently shows up can make a world of difference.  The importance of a stable and supportive relationship cannot be overstated. When a child has someone to turn to, someone who listens, guides, and reassures them, it fosters a sense of security and belonging. This emotional safety net enables the child to navigate challenges more effectively and develop coping mechanisms that build resilience.  #Resilience #ChildDevelopment #ACEs #MentalHealth #Community #SupportSystem #PositiveInfluence #ChildMentalHealth