Message From the Principal
Positive and proactive mental health is an essential part of any school’s support and equipping of their students. We’ve just celebrated RUOK? Day and are following up with some skills development so they know what to say next. However, there are some students who need more specialised support for mental health and relationship issues. As a consequence, I’m excited to announce that we are trialling having Anglicare counsellors on site two days a week to support those students who need further help. This is a vital backup to our already strong pastoral programs.
This is new for our school, and so we want to make sure expectations are realistic and families are reassured about what might be happening – more details will come separately. In short, there will be a referral process that goes through our pastoral care team, parental consent will be required for all children under 14, and strongly encouraged for older students. We will continue to work as a team with the families when students are struggling.
Secondly, a few weeks ago after we appeared on the news for making the Makuta masks, I challenged all students to get involved in other ways – I know that sewing is not for everyone! I’m proud to say we will have some Year 10 boys taking the plunge and getting “Mullets for Mental Health”. Again, mullets are not for everyone! As a College we want to support these young men who are prepared to wear a mullet to raise awareness and funds. Statistically 3 out of every 4 young person who commits suicide is a male, we love that they want to do something about this! We’d love you to support our College team (click here) and we’ll have a communal haircutting with South Coast Academy’s barber team coming in on Monday! Does this mean it’s a haircut or uniform free-for-all? Absolutely not! We are proud of our exceptional uniform standards and will continue uphold them for all our students! The mullets are for a short period of time, to raise awareness and funds for mental health – all haircuts will be back to normal next term! We are prepared to have our students getting a haircut like this, because mental health is bigger than a uniform policy, and the very strictness of our uniform requirements, means that it stands out all the more!
We will continue to promote awareness about wellbeing, open conversations and helpseeking in our College and community beyond. We want to encourage all our students to be advocates in our community. I am so grateful for our awesome staff pastoral care team – and all our staff – and the incredible way they help our students grow into compassionate, hopeful and courageous young people!
Mrs Megan Hastie