Students’ mental health day

Taylar AmoiniNorth West Telegraph

Staff and students at Hedland Senior High School were prompted to take a closer look at their mental health and wellbeing last Thursday when the bright yellow tents of suicide prevention charity R U OK? stopped by.

Along with not-for-profit groups and community services, students and staff were encouraged to have meaningful conversations at a wellness fair held in the school courtyard.

School leader Angelo Damian, 17, who helped set up and organise the day’s events, said his fellow students had been responding positively to the day and were eager to meet the community service providers at the fair.

“We’re trying to let people know they should try to talk to someone about it and if they do, they will not be put down or judged,” he said.

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“We will, in fact, help you to be happy because being happy is so much better than being down.”

Deputy principal David Bryant said the day’s events were especially important for students to learn and understand as they were the ones their peers confided in.

“R U OK? gives students a framework and four-step process to help others if they feel they’re struggling,” he said.

”Where families and school staff might not notice a student struggling, friends can be the first point of contact for that person, and even if someone is having even a minor concern, for their friends to ask them if they’re OK can help.”

My Bryant said the response to the event by staff and students had been overwhelmingly positive as they took part in the fair and engaged with the organisations present.

Students also had an opportunity to hear from ex-NRL player and mental health ambassador Dan Hunt.

For that report, see page 36.

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