Building Positive Mental Health – Jennifer Oaten

Our world has become a more challenging place for our young people in recent years, which has led to an increase in the awareness of the need to build positive mental health at school but in partnership with parents.  While some parents will be very familiar with our strategy, we encourage our new families to familiarise themselves.

Our Mental Health Strategy

One of the key aims of our Mental Health Strategy (MHS) is “To work together to ensure that all Santa Maria College students have the skillset to manage their wellbeing, tackle challenges and thrive in school and life.” By ‘wellbeing’, we mean their emotional, mental, physical, spiritual and social wellbeing.

Our MHS has guided the initiatives implemented since we launched our strategy in August 2019. We continue to work on this initiative in the four focus areas of the plan, which include:

  • Culture and Values
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Support

To download a copy of the MHS summary, please click HERE.

Key People Driving the MHS

We are shifting our focus to being preventative rather than reactive. This does not mean we are stopping providing support where needed. Our goal is to enable more girls at the College to access our psychologists for support.  A priority being that our College psychologists will work more widely with girls in a proactive and preventative way, for example, through existing group programs and during our Pastoral Care Time sessions.  The programs being delivered have been tailored for our girls’ needs and have, where suitable, incorporated research obtained when developing the MHS.

The key people who drive this strategy include:

  • Director of Pastoral Care (Danielle Spark oversees the care of all students and the delivery of our MHS)
  • Mental Health Staff Coordinators  
  • Mental Health Student Ambassadors
  • Wellbeing Captain
  • Wellbeing Committee (This committee includes the above people, elected student leaders and a College psychologist)

Student Voice and Parent Partnership Critical

Our students’ voice is crucial for the success of our MHS.  Our students need to be heard as they are the ones directly affected.  They are key to the successful implementation of our strategy.

Equally important is the partnership with our parents.  We believe if we partner with our parents to:

  • build a positive school culture,
  • develop knowledge and skills within our students, and
  • ensure support structures are known to students and parents,

we can make a positive difference in many young people’s lives.

Please help us make the difference.

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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