As we approach the end of the year, many students are tiring of the daily school routines and looking forward to the long Summer break! While many school routines may sometimes seem irritating for students, particularly towards the end of a long year, their value is sometimes only evident when we are away from school.
The daily routine of checking into Care Group provides more than merely taking an attendance roll. Being in Care Group, classes, and participating in learning and other activities provides important opportunities to connect with the community, feel a critical sense of belonging, and receive learning and emotional support – all of which promote student wellbeing.
Over the holidays, and beyond for our school leavers, these routine supports are not available to students in the usual way, and some may feel disconnected, which can compromise their well-being. As such, families and students themselves need to be more mindful of student well-being, and opportunities for support outside of the College.
Families can provide an excellent first line of defence, monitoring your student’s well-being over the Summer break and keeping the lines of communication open. Frequent sleep-ins or late nights out with friends can sometimes be a barrier, so over the holidays, extra effort is required to connect with young people, to ensure they are not passing you like ships through the night!
Sometimes concerns for a young person’s well-being may go beyond what a family feel they can manage themselves. A well-timed visit to the GP can provide an opportunity for a young person to express feelings and receive any additional professional support they may need. Doctors can identify adolescent mental health issues and formulate mental health care plans, including referral to a psychologist where necessary. Involving the GP can role model the importance of managing our health and well-being in a holistic way, and most mental health concerns will link directly to physical symptoms, supporting this direct route to the GP for advice.
There are also free government services that can provide counselling and support for young people experiencing well-being concerns, including youth mental health service, Headspace.
Finally, in the interests of safety and well-being, we encourage all students and families to download the Emergency Plus App to their phones and devices, to assist in keeping our community safe this Summer. This app is easy to use, initiates a direct call to 000 emergency services, and provides an on-screen GPS location which will enable a quicker response from emergency services, in the event that urgent help is needed.