R U OK? Day 2022

Mrs Caitlin Ireland – Wellbeing Health Promotion Officer

If you think about five important people in your life, research shows that at least one of them will experience mental illness at some stage in their life.

R U OK? Day is our annual reminder that, regardless of our qualifications, we all have the ability to check-in with our loved ones.

We are encouraged to do this when we notice a change in how a friend or peer is thinking, feeling and behaving. Some examples may include: crying and/or easily agitated; withdrawn from family and friends; lashing out towards the people they care about; losing interest in activities they love; sleep disturbances; or changes in appetite, to name a few.

There are many circumstances that can lead to these changes in a young person, including:

–          Big life changes like moving house or school

–          Experiencing grief or loss

–          Being around people going through tough times

–          Being bullied

–          Arguing with someone

–          Problems with school work

–          Being bored

–          Having a medical condition or chronic illness

–          Not sleeping well

–          Poor diet

–          Not exercising enough

–          Hormonal changes

–          Learning difficulties

Children cannot be expected to fix someone’s problems, nor know the best way to help and support. However they can be encouraged to listen to what their friend is saying, let them know they care and tell a teacher, TSS psychologist (Senior: [email protected] or Prep: [email protected]) or trusted adult if they are worried about their friend. By promoting an environment of positive peer support and accessing support channels via an adult, children can learn that asking, ‘Are you OK?’ is a key life skill.

R U OK? has 4 Conversation Steps to help navigate a conversation when someone says, “No, I’m not OK”. These steps are:

  1. Ask
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

Who’s on your Team is an initiative designed to prompt students to name trusted adults and close mates that they could approach during a difficult time. This may include their classroom teacher, mum or dad, grandparents, sibling or cousin, friend, Student Protection Officer, Housemaster, Deputy Headmaster, TSS Chaplain or Psychologist.

Asking for help and/or approaching someone in need can be difficult for some. At the Senior School, Stymie is a free, anonymous, online reporting platform that is available to all TSS Senior students, and their families. It encourages anyone to anonymously report individuals that they may have concerns about, so that members of the Senior Leadership Team can check-in with them.

Please also note the free external support services available within Australia:

–          Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800

–          Lifeline on 13 11 14  OR ‘000’ if life is in imminent danger

Let’s make time for regular conversations – not just today, but every day.

 

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