A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Wellbeing - Edition 2 - 2019

Youth Mental Health First Aid

It is well-known that one of society’s major health concerns relates to increased levels of mental ill-health, with a quarter of young people suffering from some form of mental illness. Our focus on wellbeing at Westminster is a direct response to this phenomenon, and we are constantly looking for ways to better support our students and staff to be mentally healthy. In addition to pro-active approaches, it is important for us to be observant about signs that may indicate a student is struggling in some way. For this reason, three years ago 20 of our key pastoral staff trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing problem, or is in a mental health crisis. Like an ordinary First Aid response, it is the aid given until appropriate professional help is received and the crisis resolves. Since then, another 20 of our staff have been trained. It is our intention ultimately to have all staff trained in this kind of first aid, in addition to their ordinary First Aid training. To assist with this process, I am completing my training as a Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. This will mean I will be able to ensure that all staff are trained, and as new staff take up roles at Westminster, they too will benefit from this training. We also have a dream of being able to offer this to our parent community in the future. Stay tuned over the coming months for more information in this regard.

Parent Book Club

Just a reminder of the details of our next Parent Book Club, which was mentioned in the last eNews. We will be looking at the book 'The Slap' by Christos Tsiolkas. The first meeting will be held in Week 6 on Thursday 7 March, in the Haslam Library (Prep Library) at 7.00 pm. This is open to all parents and staff in the school community. If you plan to be there, please RSVP to me by Friday 1 March, T: 08 8276 0395 or via Email.

Liz Collins
Head of Wellbeing