Victory College

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Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

Friday, 24/07/2020 Posted by: Victory College
mental health first aid plan

How blessed we are here in Queensland to be able to start resuming sports, assemblies and chapel. Our students have settled back into the routine of school, and I love to walk around our College and feel the positive atmosphere that our students and staff create.

On Tuesday afternoon, as some of our students were playing basketball, I was supporting our after-school Equestrian students and parents. It was so pleasing to see the students and parents supporting each other as they got their horses ready, and to watch the coaches instruct our students on the finer aspects of riding. It enlarges your heart to see our beginner riders, riding around the arena, gradually developing their confidence and ability.

Last week, I participated with our Pastoral care staff to complete a Teen Mental Health Certificate. The course covered many aspects of teen mental health which sadly, due to many factors, is on the rise in our country.
The challenge as a College and as parents/caregivers is to hear the voice within our young people. When a child has anxiety, anger or other mental health issues, like any health area, identifying and putting strategies into place will help ensure a better the outcome for the child. When looking at the issues within our society, it was sad to see some of the statistics regarding the evidence of the adverse long-term effects of drugs and alcohol on the developing teenage brain.

As teachers and parents/caregivers, it is important that we talk to our students/children and support them through these difficult times. One way of support is through the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan, which has five points:

  1. Approach the person, assess and assist with any mental health crisis. (Do you know how your child is travelling, at this time?)
  2. Listen and communicate in a non- judgmental manner (something that is easier said than done!)
  3. Give support and information (about where they can get help, what they may be experiencing etc.)
  4. Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help (often a GP is the first port of call.)
  5. Encourage other supports, (Beyond Blue, Church, Kids help line etc).

Charles Spurgeon a famous preacher from the 1800’s once said, “The mind can descend far lower than the body, for in it there are bottomless pits. The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in ten thousand ways, and die over and over again each hour.”  Thankfully, the Word of God also has comfort Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” It is comforting to know we are not alone, God is near. It is also good to know that our College has several accredited mental health first aid personnel, trained to assist your child if needed.

In these times of constant challenges and change it is important as a community that we support each other and continue to support our students/children so that they can reach their full potential.

Brett Costin