Check In From Our Mental Health Ambassadors On RU OK? Day

This year, our Mental Health Ambassadors have been busy working towards raising awareness and promoting mental health initiatives that align with the College Mental Health Strategy.

They have been involved in two key events recently.

In Your Head Mental Health Conference

Staff members Jessica Ieritano and Julianne Haggerty, accompanied eleven students from Years 10 – 12 to the 2023 In Your Head Mental Health Forum, presented by Zero2Hero at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. The students heard from several guest presenters throughout the day, focussing on topics of self-care, nutrition, emotional regulation and suicide prevention.

Psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry spoke about his development and scaling up of early intervention and youth mental health services for mental health innovation, advocacy and reform.

Inspiring Zero2Hero founder Ashlee Harrison shared the very personal reason why she started Zero2Hero and her three tips to being a leader:

  1. Life does not put things in front of you that you are unable to handle.
  2. Respect yourself and walk away from anything that does not make you a better person.
  3. “First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” Gandhi.

Students could choose between a series of breakout sessions such as ‘Dance Beats’ and ‘Nourish the Brain’, which provided them with a wealth of resources and tools around wellbeing and mental health, not just to help themselves but their friends as well.

Our 2024 Wellbeing Captain, Ashleigh Stockil, said, “I felt really fortunate to attend the In Your Head Forum last week alongside over 1000 other students from all over Western Australia. I attended three enlightening break-out sessions:

  1. Nourish the Brain: This explored the important role of nutrition and how it affects our mental health.
  2. Learning to Love Yourself: This taught us skills to turn negative self-thoughts into positive or encouraging ones.
  3. Dance Beats: A practical dance session teaching us about the importance of movement and how it can positively impact your mental health.

Ashleigh hopes to be able to use the skills they learned to help improve the mental health of all Santa Maria College girls.

RU OK? DAY

RU OK? Day was led by the Mental Health Ambassadors and Wellbeing Leaders for 2023 and 2024, Jessie Speers and Ashleigh Stockil. They promoted mental health awareness and encouraged the idea of how to create meaningful conversations with friends, family and loved ones – not just today but every day.

As the morning began, students were warmly greeted with yellow ribbons to wear as they entered the College gates. During recess, our Wellbeing Leaders and Mental Health Ambassadors made themselves known to students around the College grounds, handing out positive mental health conversation starters and treating them to yellow lollies. To ensure everyone had access to valuable resources, we shared information throughout the day via television screens in our classrooms, as well as decorating the College with informative posters to spread awareness and promote meaningful conversations about mental health.

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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