Focus on mental health

RUOK day at Brookfield College. Sandra Pham, Raj Kandsamy (counsellors), Amy, Katie, Jake and Jacob

By Ewen McRae

Brookside College was awash with yellow last week, as the school came together to talk about mental health as part of R U OK Day.

The national day encourages people to start a conversation about mental health and looking after your mates.

College assistant principal Keda Meagher said it was a positive event.

“It was a huge success, I’ve never seen R U OK Day done so well in a workplace before,” Ms Meagher said.

“Our welfare team put on a breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea for staff, and we had a number of activities built into the curriculum for the week, spreading awareness around mental health.

“We spoke a lot about encouraging people to talk openly about mental health, and showing support for looking after each other.”

Ms Meagher said while the day itself was an important part of the school calendar, the messages of the day were re-enforced throughout the year.

“Our school is very dedicated to raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing, and we have a really strong support network all year for our students,” she said.

“It’s not about one day, or a week, it’s part of our school culture. But it is good to have a week where we celebrate the good work that we’re doing and help the students understand that this is an intiative beyond just school.

“It’s something that’s going to exist in their lives and out in the community, and they should be proud of where they’re already at and the understandings they’ve developed.”