Welcome back to Term 4 and to October, which is Mental Health Month, the theme of which is Tune, Tune into self, to others, to the community and to stigma. On Tuesday we gathered as a school community to mark the beginning of this important campaign. We were extremely fortunate to have Sarah Carli, a talented Olympic and Commonwealth Games athlete who overcame tremendous adversity to take her place as an Olympian. Sarah shared with us a rare and privileged insight into the challenges she has experienced and the impact these have had on her wellbeing. As a positive, determined and strong local young woman who has balanced the demands of family, friendships, university study, training and health issues she is an outstanding source of inspiration and encouragement. Jess Colquhoun, also spoke to our community through a pre-recorded message reminding us of the importance of normalizing conversations around mental health, reaching out for help and availing yourself of the opportunities and support available at Edmund Rice.
Throughout this month we will look to have a particular focus helping the boys to tune into themselves, each other, our community and to overturn the stigma attached to poor mental health. I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work of Louis Villella, Will Papakosmas, Blake Pearson, Joseph Gveric. Nahni Meafou, Anthony Villella, Jake Potter and Elias Logue who worked collaboratively with the Pastoral team to prepare and lead our assembly. A special thanks to Mr Russell Bates and Mr Jeremy Forshaw who were instrumental in securing our guest speakers, Sarah Carli and Jesse Colquhoun respectively.
As a way of advocating for Positive mental health we have invited staff and students to participate in the One Foot Forward walk for mental health, coordinated by the Black Dog Institute to raise both money and awareness for mental health support. This initiative will run throughout October and a link to the registration can be found here.
On Monday, World Mental Health Day, the staff engaged in professional development led by the My Strengths team. Grounded in the evidence of positive psychology, staff had the opportunity to undertake the strengths assessments that boys in Year 7, 10 and 11 have had the opportunity to take earlier this year as part of our commitment to moving towards adopting this approach to all aspects of College life. It was a fantastic opportunity for staff to gain an in-depth insight into the benefit of this approach.
This term we are pleased to launch a quiet space in Waruga House for students who would benefit from some quiet time and space during lunchtime, we are currently running a competition to formally name this space and encourage all students to think creatively and submit their ideas via that google form sent to each student.
Many parents may have seen the program on Channel 10 Monday night, Mirror Mirror which explored the impact of the internet, more specifically social media on relationships. Safe on Social Media, a cyber safety education company, for which Kirra Pendergast is the CEO were inundated with requests from concerned parents across the country about two sites in particular and have generously made available two parent guides to support parents wishing to know more about these sites.
Finally, this week’s Parenting Ideas article by Michael Grose, provides some great tips for parenting children who are introverted by nature.
Director of Pastoral Care & Wellbeing