Welcome back to a sunny Term 4 and the home stretch for the year.
October is Mental Health month in Australia. This year’s theme is We all have a role to play – to support our own and other’s mental health and wellbeing. As part of our whole school campaign to Mental Health Month we have had some fun lunchtime activities to raise student awareness, as well as some in class lessons on healthy coping and resilience. This also tied in with our RUOK? Day campaign at the end of Term 3 where we focused on ways of checking in with our friends.
Our lunchtime wellbeing pop up activities are designed to give students an opportunity to informally engage with information about an identified issue or theme. For our mental health pop up run over week 2 and week 3 of term, students were able to learn about the signs of mental health struggles, strategies to help manage these difficulties and where to access help. We also emphasised the role of healthy habits for wellbeing and the power of our self talk.
Our RUOK? Day campaign at the end of Term 3 gave students the chance to consider how and when to check in with their friends when we think they may not be their usual selves. Our famous RUOK? Cupcakes are a helpful reminder!
In Week 1 our Year 9’s had a powerful day facilitated by The Man Cave and The Reach Foundation- providing opportunities to engage in conversations and activities about healthy masculinity, relationships, emotional awareness and positive identity.
Our Health Promotion Nurse, Kaye Walker, is implementing a Vaping Education program across our Year 7, 8 and 9 THRIVE classes throughout Term 4. Vaping continues to be a significant public health issue for our young people and education about the harmful effects of vaping is an essential strategy for combatting the issue. If you have concerns about a young person who is vaping and would like further information or support, please make contact with your student’s Year Level Team Leader to discuss a referral to the Wellbeing Team. Alternatively, you can contact the Wellbeing Team via the front office.
The Wellbeing Team have farewelled Sarah, one of our amazing counselling volunteers this week. Sarah began with us as a student on placement in October of 2022. After completing her counselling qualification earlier this year, she chose to stay on as a volunteer. We have been incredibly grateful for the time and commitment Sarah has given to our students and school and wish her all the very best as she moves onto the next step in her counselling career. Students and parents who were seeing Sarah for counselling have all been informed and had an opportunity to say goodbye.
Finally, we wish all of our graduating Year 12 students the very best with the next step of their journey. For those sitting exams currently we hope for them all the balance they need to feel productive during this time. East well, sleep well, play well…and do a little bit of study.
Peta Cartwright | Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Accessing support through Wellbeing – Students
The Wellbeing Team can support students to navigate challenges that may be impacting on their ability to engage in learning or general feelings of wellbeing. This can include: transitions and adjusting to change, family or relationship difficulties, grief and loss, mental health concerns, drug and alcohol concerns, and many other challenges that young people encounter.
An initial appointment with a member of the wellbeing team will be an assessment of need with the student or family which will help to decide the best support option for the student. Support options available through the Wellbeing Team are:
- Individual short term counselling, psychoeducation and skills development
- group programs
- referrals to external support agencies.
- students may also be encouraged to access self-help strategies or resources.
Referrals to see someone from the team are made through year level leaders. Parents, students or teachers with concerns are encouraged to speak to their year level leader. Students or parents can also make an appointment directly with someone from the Wellbeing Team by attending the Wellbeing Centre, calling the school office or contacting us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Year level leaders who are made aware of concerns by a teacher will always endeavour to make contact with parents before referring a student to the Wellbeing team.
All counselling sessions with students are confidential and information is only shared if a student is deemed to be at risk of harm.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, please contact kidshelpline or lifeline on the numbers at the bottom of this page.
What’s on in Wellbeing?
The Wellbeing Centre is open at recess and lunchtime for students who need a quiet, safe place to regulate or access support. The centre is also used for lunchtime group programs which are advertised through compass or on notice boards.
Q-Squad, our LBGTQIA+ group runs every Thursday lunchtime.
Accessing Support – Families
Most families, at some stage, need a little extra support to manage the normal challenges of life as well as the more difficult situations that arise. If you are experiencing hardship, stress or circumstances that are impacting on the wellbeing of your family life or your ability to cope, the Wellbeing Team can help to connect you with community services that can provide support. Please contact the Wellbeing Team via the school phone number or via email at email@example.com
Clink on the links below for further information
|Knox 4 Me – a support program for rainbow young people aged 14-18||Knox 4 Me|
|Knox Nocturnals Youth Program – Meet new friends, join activities||Knox Nocturnals|
Clothing Support – Thread Together
We recently partnered with Thread Together to provide free and brand clothing for students in need. Thread Together collects brand new unsold clothing from all around the country, saving it from landfill. Thread Together believe that people in need deserve the dignity and choice of new clothing, without judgement. If your children need any help with clothing, please contact the Wellbeing team for further assistance.
With the support of volunteers from local churches- Knox Baptist and Hillsong Church we are able to provide a breakfast club 5 days a week for our students, including a Pancake Breakfast every Thursday morning. All students are welcome.
Food support for families in need
Each fortnight on a Tuesday after school from 2:48pm – 3:08pm we have food support available for families who may be in need, for whatever reason. We have a selection of frozen meals and pantry items that families can collect from the former school canteen area without question or judgement. We know that access to food can be a real challenge for some families and we feel strongly about supporting the basic needs of our students and families. Watch out for compass posts each fortnight.
External food support options
The following community agencies provide food support for families in need.
eSafety’s express learning series provides parents and carers with practical tips and advice on common online safety concerns. The videos are 5 to 10 minutes long and cover four important topics, including:
- Setting up parental controls
- Digital technologies and mental health
- Cyberbullying and online drama
- Online sexual harassment and image-based abuse
Cyber Safety Project provides a whole community approach focused on developing future skills, lifelong habits and self-regulation when innovating and using digital technologies for work, life and play. To create safer communities our educational programs and proactive teaching strategies will engage the whole community with learning how to participate safely and responsibly in a digitally-engaged world. To learn more about family workshops and webinars for parents or carers, please visit https://cybersafetyproject.com.au/families/
Parentzone Eastern – Parenting Solo program
A parent building solutions program for sole parents of children 0 -18 years.
Do you want to:
- Feel more supported as a sole parent?
- Learn strategies to help your child cope with change and stress in life?
- Set boundaries on challenging behaviors while still maintaining a positive relationship with your child?
- Connect with other sole parents living in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs?
Interactive 5-week program to learn strategies and connect with others. The program is held online via Zoom so you will need to have a device with video and audio in order to participate.
- Each Thursday for 5 weeks (9 – 30 November 2023)
- Noon – 2pm
- Online via Zoom
- Free for sole parents living in Melbourne’s Eastern region.
For more information contact Sharon Muir on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or go to this link to register Registration – Parenting Solo (office.com)