From the Assistant Principal
Important Dates: Link to college calendar located on the website
Pastoral care at Bethany
For teens, there are a few main developmental tasks they tackle from day to day including:
- independence from parents and other adults
- development of a realistic stable positive self-identity
- formation of sexual identity
- negotiation of peer and intimate relationships
- development of realistic body image
- formulation of their own moral/value system
- acquisition of skills for future economic independence
During this developmental period, the brain is working really had at wiring and pruning the brain to help teens understand themselves, others and the world around them. On this journey in finding understanding, teens can battle with their understanding which can result in fluctuating emotions or mood swings. They have to manage school demands, social expectations and extracurricular activities all while still trying to figure out who they are! This process can, at times, be difficult and overwhelming for some, and as adults we are in a position to decipher whether changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviour are part of the teen brain under construction, or whether there is a mental health issue emerging.
The pastoral team here at Bethany work closely at running workshops and presentations all through the year to support teens on this journey, by teaching and applying skills that promote positive mental health.
Staff Day- end of Term 2
Staff were engaged in a professional Learning Day that focused on student wellbeing. Workshops were presented by Pastoral Coordinators, Sydney Catholic Schools Wellbeing Team, and the Police – School Liaison officer and topics ranged from Supporting students with anxiety and low mood to body image and cybersafety.
Year 11 Pastoral sessions with Headspace
Headspace was invited to Bethany College in term 2 and 3 to speak to Year 11 about the following over two sessions:
- What mental health is and how common and misunderstood it is.
- The importance of good mental health, and how it gives you the capacity to cope with change and challenges and build resilience.
- Physical, psychological and emotional triggers that make us aware of our mental health, particularly signs of anxiety and depression.
- Strategies that encourage better mental health.
- Help seeking behaviour how they can seek help and who from.
Year 11 students had the opportunity to generally learn about mental health as a big group, and were then invited back in small groups so that any questions, concerns and comments about mental health could be addressed in a more personal way. It was evident that students had a good understanding of positive mental health and the importance of daily self-care strategies to help nurture mental health. Students were able to also identify and discuss signs within themselves and others that are suggestive of a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety. Upon reaching this understanding, students were also able to articulate the support available in school, at home and in the wider community. Further to this, it was emphasised that these supports can also be accessed if they needed advice on how to respond to a friend dealing with a mental health issue.
Headspace Hurstville is a local and free service that offers psychological intervention and support for individuals aged 13-25. Headspace also offers workshops to schools within the St George region. The purpose of these workshops are to: educate youth about mental health; improve help seeking behaviour; reduce the stigma around mental; address day to day challenges, such as bullying or self-esteem; and to educate youth on strategies they can use to improve health and well-being.