Catholic Education acknowledges the relationship between health and education. Healthy children are better able to learn, and higher educational achievement is strongly associated with better health (The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention, 2010).
Mental Health and Wellbeing is defined as “a state in which every individual realises his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” (World Health Organization, 2014).
Wellbeing should permeate all aspects of school life and learning. Schools do this by engaging with students, staff, parents/carers, and their communities to:
- build a positive, safe learning environment and culture
- improve educational outcomes of students
- support health
Wellbeing encompasses nurturing the self, giving to others, and building/connecting with community. It relates to the whole person and the interconnectedness of physical, cognitive, cultural, spiritual, social/emotional and psychological/personal dimensions within a person.
Schools build the foundations for wellbeing and lifelong learning through curriculum, embedding wellbeing into various subjects like; Health and Physical Education (HPE), Science, Student Protection and Personal and Social Development. Explicitly teaching and modelling social and emotional skills, values and expectations for behaviour also support student wellbeing.
Schools facilitate collaborative and productive partnerships with and between members of the school community but also engage with a range of external agencies and initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of all. For example:
External partnerships and resources:
- Queensland Health Ed-LinQ Initiative
- National Education Initiative (NEI) – Wellbeing framework
- National School Chaplaincy Program
- Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence
- National Safe Schools Framework
Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton Personnel:
- School Counsellors: The primary purpose of the school counsellor role is to support students to achieve academic success, social and emotional well-being and psychological health. In addition, the Counsellor is to assist schools to address the barriers to educational achievement, the most significant barriers are; mental health issues and learning difficulties.
- School Pastoral Care Workers: are committed to a ministry which values the dignity and potential of individuals within the school community. School Pastoral Workers walk with students, particularly the marginalised and disadvantaged, through the course of their lives at school, as well as being supportive of parents and staff. School Pastoral Workers are provided to some schools on a needs basis.
- School Student protection contacts: schools have at least two nominated staff members to whom a student can report to.
- Catholic Education Office Counselling Services Coordinator
- Catholic Education Office Student Services Manager
- Catholic Education Office Student Protection Officers
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