Mental health matters at Mater Dei

26 September 2019

Mater Dei College held Wellbeing Week recently, its annual focus on the wellbeing and mental health of the entire school community. 

The theme for the week was ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning & Give Back’.  

College counsellor and wellbeing team member Janine Hanlon said research had proven the five themes were simple and effective ways to improve psychological and emotional health.  

“We chose them to inspire students and staff to be curious and spark a sense of meaning and purpose into their daily lives whilst coming together as a community; to help build skills to bounce back and to encourage a growth mindset where we try new things and explore opportunities,” she said. 

Activities over the five days included visits from an animal farm and the Joondalup Youth truck, a lap-a-thon for charity Lifelink, and a students versus staff tugofwar. 

Based on the 2019 RUOk? Day theme ‘trust the signs’, students were encouraged to write positive and inspirational messages on a blackboard pillar during recess and lunch. 

Staff worked with students to create a colourful pair of angel wings made from paper feathers highlighting character strengths, and a wellbeing banner to celebrate connection. 

Mater Dei Principal Annette Morey said the college’s wellbeing service, including LJ the wellbeing dog, was a priority. 

“Our wellbeing focus provides a positive and strength-based framework, underpinned by our strong sense of community and Catholic values,” she said. 

Through a number of school initiatives such as our anti-bullying campaign, Wellbeing Week, AFL program, Whadjuk Gift, Cambodia trip, Social Action Group and Pastoral Care Program, Mater Dei is working towards a vision of promoting overall mental and physical wellness in our school community.”

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