Protecting the Mental Health of Our Teens

Mental health difficulties continue to grow in teenagers due to many different factors. Early identification and intervention for those suffering increases more positive outcomes and usually shortens the duration of the illness.  

This week, Santa Maria College psychologist, Chris Davis, offered parents of students in Years 7 – 12, a fully accredited course, Youth Mental Health First Aid. The course teaches adults how to assist adolescents who are at risk of developing a mental health problem or who are in a mental health crisis.

The course covered: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Substance misuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Panic attacks
  • Traumatic events
  • Severe psychotic states
  • Acute effects from alcohol and substance misuse
  • Aggressive behaviours

Below, some of the parents who attended shared their thoughts on the course.

I found the course to be very interesting, informative and at times confronting, particularly when discussing statistics in young people. It was great to see Santa Maria has so many initiatives already in place to support young girls through some challenging times. Thanks to Chris and Santa Maria for offering this great opportunity to attend and attain certification for this fantastic course. Julie Ann

Well done to Santa Maria and Chris for enabling and facilitating such an important, relevant and well-run course. It was also beneficial to spend time and share experiences with other parents. Thank you. Lisa

The Youth Mental Health First Aid course was a great way to bring together parents from all Year groups and backgrounds to discuss the very real issues facing our young people today. It was a very informative and useful course, that lead to many discussions about difficult topics in a supportive environment. I believe by completing this course I am better equipped to deal with issues around mental health illnesses. Chris is a great facilitator and asset to Santa Maria. I can thoroughly recommend doing this course if you have the opportunity in the future. Raechell

I would thoroughly recommend it for all parents when their children are starting their teenage years. Claire

The Youth Mental Health First Aid course was an opportunity not only to empower ourselves with knowledge, but to reinforce a united parent/school, one community mentality. It opened discussion between parent and child and parent and school. I feel all parents should have the opportunity to complete this course. Thanks, Santa Maria, for taking the initiative and extending the offer to attend such relevant courses. Vynka

“Being a single mother of three teenagers I have found this course has provided me with information and tools which gives me confidence and strategies on how to deal with anxiety and aggressive behaviours experienced by our young people”. Maureen 

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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