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South Africa
Whistleblowing

"Thanks to the FaceUp platform we can detect problems as early as possible," says HR Manager at ADvTech

We spoke with Vanessa Crawford, HR Manager at ADvTech, about whistleblowing and her experience with FaceUp.ADvTECH is South Africa’s largest private education provider. All of ADvTECH’s 7 580 staff members, teachers, lecturers and students between Grades 4 and 12 at its 96 schools throughout South Africa has access to the app. What was the main issue/challenge you were experiencing that led you to use FaceUp?There are various reasons why we at ADvTECH think it is so important to have a whistleblowing app. Firstly with the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health issues have increased, such as depression, anxiety, stress. For that reason it was important but in addition, although we already have robust measures in place for reporting, not many people were using the platforms. We believe that using a digital platform it will make it more open to report, especially for children under the age of 18.   How would you describe the process of working with FaceUp? We wanted to provide a space for people who previously had none. There were concerns particularly around bullying and stigma. The addition of the Allies programme that Advtech has put in place which includes training and empowering our teachers and staff to be able to assist learners and employees who reach out through FaceUp for assistance.  The app is really well facilitated with drop-down arrows and really provides both reporters and administrators with the accessibility of helping and investigating the issue once it has come through.   What have been the highlights of working with FaceUp?Using FaceUp, reports that have come through have been resolved far more efficiently than any other platform or method we have used in the past.  Another advantage is that reporters can track what is happening with their report and the status of any investigations that are taking place.   Experience with FaceUp thus far:  Ease of Use = 5/5Features and Functionality = 5/5Customer Support = 5/5Value for Money = 5/5Likelihood to recommend FaceUp = 5/5Have you experienced any positive or negative results?Our experience thus far has been excellent.   Has working with FaceUp changed or improved your situation/business?People are not well trained in dealing with reports once they have received them. This is why FaceUp is such a lovely new tool for us. It provides us with the anonymity so that people can report without fear of further victimisation as well as there are resources on the administration system to assist in dealing with reports.  Would you recommend FaceUp to other companies and schools?I would appeal to schools and companies to employ FaceUp. The possibility if you can imagine of elevating mental health and drowning out discrimination amongst schools. We have seen a great take-up in our company to address issues that some people would probably not report otherwise. About ADvTECH GroupThe ADvTECH Group, a JSE-listed company, is Africa’s largest private education provider and a continental leader in quality education, training, skills development and placement services. The Group reports its performance in a segmental structure reflecting the Schools and Tertiary as two separate education divisions, and Resourcing as the third division. ADvTECH’s Schools division comprises 10 brands with more than 100 schools across South Africa, including Gaborone International School in Botswana and Crawford International in Nairobi, Kenya. It owns 9 tertiary brands, across 30 campuses across South Africa and the rest of Africa, and its higher education division, The Independent Institute of Education, is SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education provider. ADvTECH’s 9 resourcing brands places thousands of candidates annually, assisting graduates to make the transition from the world of study to the world of work.
2022-01-31T14:01:54.321Z3 min read
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South Africa

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

Creating Hope through Action 💛 By raising awareness, reducing the stigma and encouraging action, we can reduce and prevent suicide around the world. Research shows that 23.6% of teens are struggling with feelings of hopelessness and sadness while suicide is the 2nd leading cause death among children aged 15 years and older! Information about Teen Suicide 👇 What are Suicidal Thoughts? Suicidal thoughts are when someone thinks about suicide. They may or may not have a plan. All expressed thoughts of suicide must be taken seriously. Asking questions about how, when and where they plan to commit suicide, will assist to obtain the level of risk for suicide, and therefore assist in identifying what action needs to be taken. It is also important to remember that asking these questions will not make the person kill themselves. It is also important to take into account that not all suicides are well thought out in advance; some are impulsive, which is likely true of people who are unable to cope with depression.If a learner seems depressed or withdrawn and spends a lot of time questioning why life is meaningful or why life is unjust, it is time to pay attention. Research indicates that most suicidal young people don’t want to die, they just want their pain to end. Being able to recognise warning signs in a learner’s behaviour as well as being alert to the risk factors, can assist in combating and preventing suicide. Warning Signs of Teen Suicide Talking about Suicide with Teens Knowing the warning signs of teen suicide is only the first step. The next question that needs to be looked at involves talking about mental health and suicide with teenagers. How does one communicate with a teen and how do you get them to really open up to you and share what is going on inside of them? And even if they show no obvious signs of depression, how do you get them to talk to you?Troubling behaviours can sometimes be prevented by talking to teens before things reach that point. If you notice some concerning signs it is always a good idea to sit down with the teen and let them know that you are here for them and that help is available. Step-by-Step: Talking about Mental Health Suicide Risk Levels Based on the severity of the case – make an action plan White Risk Level: No risk of suicide.Yellow Risk Level: Potential for risk exists and could escalate. Vague suicide ideation without a definite plan or access.Orange Risk level: Potential for risk to self or others. Current suicide ideation with a plan but no access.Red Risk Level: Imminent & immediate risk to self or others. Current suicide ideation with a plan and accessFor emergency support, contact The South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 0800 567 567 or 0800 456 789. Alternatively SMS 31393 to speak with a counsellor. We want you to know that you are not alone! FaceUp’s team of Registered Counsellors, Psychologists and Teachers are here to help and support you. Thank you for all you do to help at your school, organisation & just in your community as a whole! 💙 At FaceUp South Africa, we believe that ALL parents and teachers need to be equipped with the knowledge of how to help children & teens and where they can access this help. We don’t just launch the FaceUp app at your school – we feel it is so important to provide constant support to our teachers. We run workshops and training sessions in order to help every teacher understand the mental health of our children. Through FaceUp, schools have the power to intervene timelessly and offer their learners the necessary help and support they need. For more information about FaceUp South Africa and how we can help you, contact us today. Cayley Jorgensen, Director – FaceUp South Africa cayley.jorgensen@faceup.com
2021-09-10T22:38:26.624Z3 min read
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South Africa

Tips for Managing Cyberbullying at your School

Bullying, in all forms, is a huge problem amongst South African school-going children, which directly impacts the mental health of all learners involved (victim, bystander and bullies). 57% of learners experience some form of bullying at school. 1 in 5 South African teens have experienced cyberbullying first-hand and 84% say they know someone who has been bullied online. Everything you need to know about cyberbullying is below 👇 What is Cyberbullying? Imagine a note, filled with rude insults, being sent around the classroom. Eventually, the note is intercepted by the teacher who tears it into pieces and throws it in the rubbish.  Now imagine the same note typed as a WhatsApp message and sent from learner to learner. One learner decides to post it on Instagram where friends can read and share it instantly.  The note cannot be torn up and thrown away, but instead quickly moves through online sites to an audience of hundreds or even thousands. Why do children cyberbully? Understanding Cyberbullying from the Bully’s side is so important!  Teens might cyberbully because they feel hurt, have a low sense of self-confidence, they may feel insecure, feel neglected, or they may be being bullied as well.  The need to gain likes, shares, downloads and followers on social media can influence teens to make choices they would otherwise not make. For example, they may be trying to fit in, looking for attention, struggling academically, reinforcing what they see online, for revenge etc. We see this a lot.  It doesn’t make it right or okay but understanding why a child bullies another allows us to help the bully. How does cyberbullying affect victims? The effects on victims or ‘cybervictims’ can be huge and irreversible. They may start to feel overwhelmed, vulnerable, powerless, humiliated, hopeless and angry which may lead them to want revenge, they may also start to feel depressed, anxious, suicidal. They may start self-harming behaviours or having physical symptoms.  These are just some of the possible affects, remember every child is different and experiences things in their own way. Understanding the bystander The most common way to experience cyberbullying is by witnessing these behaviours as a bystander – a ‘cyberbystander’.  This is when adolescents see the behaviour occurring between the cyberbullies and cybervictims but do not get involved in the situation.  It is important to understand more about cyberbystanders as they are less likely to report bullying to adults than those who are bystanders of offline bullying. What should we do to help? The idea that school and home are two separate spaces no longer exists.  The emphasis now needs to be on creating a culture of responsibility online. Schools should increase awareness about bullying as well as establish and enforce clear bullying policies.  Schools need to train their staff to be digital citizens as well as be able to recognise the signs among their classes. The do’s and don’ts of helping the bully The do’s and don’ts of helping the victim We can help you 💙  We want you to know that you are not alone! FaceUp’s team of Registered Counsellors, Psychologists and Teachers are here to help you from the software side of FaceUp all the way through to launching awareness campaigns. If you need support to manage reports coming through or advice on what protocols need to be followed from a legal perspective – we are here for you!
2021-09-06T22:51:54.524Z3 min read
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