A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Wellbeing - Edition 12 - 2019

Nic Newling Visit

Our Year 10 to 12 students, staff and about 150 parents enjoyed a presentation from Nic Newling recently. Nic has a powerful story of how he has navigated his way through living with mental illness. His authentic style really connected with his audience and there was a great deal of talk about the presentation in the days that followed. Nic left each group with some take home messages which are worth sharing here:

  1. There’s support all around us, but we often have to ask;
  2. Ignorance is a great starting point (ie rather than assuming things, ask a question);
  3. The assurance of support is greater than the assurance of a positive outcome (ie Let the person know you are there for them – this is more helpful than telling them everything will all be ok);
  4. Utilise empathy;
  5. Rewrite conversations (ie If you regret the way you responded in a particular conversation, ask for the chance to have that conversation over again, and express what you wished you had the first time);
  6. Be known as someone who people can turn to;
  7. Seek help. Stick with it. Change the approach if you need to;
  8. Share your story to help reduce stigma (when you’re ready);
  9. Involve the workplace. Involve your family. Involve your friends;
  10. How to help a friend -
    1. Know your role (you’re not a trained professional; be a friend)
    2. Ask without judgement
    3. Listen first, talk later
    4. Encourage help seeking
    5. Keep it confidential* (unless you are concerned for the person’s safety)
    6. Follow up
    7. Get professional input
    8. Look after yourself too
  11. How to help a child –
    1. Integrate with the school
    2. Be involved with healthcare
    3. Let them be the teacher
    4. Make talking a routine
    5. Share some vulnerability
    6. Share realistic expectations
    7. Have someone else for them to talk to

Some helpful links for both parents and students are listed below.







Liz Collins
Head of Wellbeing