Message From the Principal
I am so proud of our students, they are standing up and advocating for their peers in a very difficult time. The opportunity for students to be on the news and use their voice is wonderful, just not the specific cause for their courage and bravery. As reported on Tuesday night, there have been five youth suicides in our area in the last five weeks, and several suicides of adults as well. These losses are so tragic and difficult to process, as we know that they were avoidable.
This is such a complex issue, and I don’t want to minimise what was happening for each individual that led them to their tragic decision. But it galvanises me to use every means possible to raise awareness and to help our students and – our broader community – know that when they are struggling, they have options, there is support and help, that there is hope. I’m so proud of our students for wanting to speak out about mental health issues that are so often stigmatised, to be a voice of hope with their peers and our community, and for taking an active part to make a difference.
As a College I am determined to continue to develop our pastoral care, our wellbeing programs and our tangible supports so that we provide students with the language, the skills and strategies they need to thrive. Helping them build the frameworks for thinking and the capacity to know how and when to seek help for themselves, their friends or family is essential as we prepare them to be resilient, hopeful and courageous adults.
We need to change the story from one of grief to hope. Now is the time to reach out across the traditional boundaries to work with other schools, the health agencies as well as family and youth supports to build a positive and vibrant culture in the Illawarra and a hope for the future for our young people.
Will you join with me?
If you need help…