Woman suffering from depression
Woman suffering from depression

Schools in focus: Chaplains speak out about mental health

TWO Gladstone State High School chaplains have outlined the concerns they have addressed most frequently as the semester nears its end.

‘Chappy’ Jarek and Yvonne wrote a column in the most recent GSHS newsletter detailing the issues which students had faced most regularly this past term.

“Our time this term has mostly centred on such student issues as anxiety, family relationships, social interaction and resilience,” the pair wrote.

“Australian educator, Michelle Mitchell, has lots of useful tips/strategies regarding teen to tween friendships and resilience.

“Raisingchildren.net.au (The Australian Parenting website) also has some excellent information.

“As parents of teens we sometimes feel pushed aside as they want to spend more and more time with friends.”
The pair pleaded with parents to not underestimate the importance of their support in their child’s life.

“Good parent-child relationships tend to lead to children having positive relationships with peers,” they said.

“So being warm and supportive, staying connected and actively listening to your child can help him/her develop friendship skills.

“You’ll also be better able to support your child if friendship problems come up.”

The pair said school initiatives were going well.

“Brekky Club has continued five days a week thanks to the generous support from CQ Nutrition, Muffin Break, Hands of Compassion, Gladrock and other private donations,” they said.

“Many local businesses allow us to have a “Coin Can” on their counter and these are invaluable in providing services to support our youth.

“As a result of the community generosity, we’ve also been able to help Chappies in smaller schools with milk and cereal for their breakfast clubs.

“All schools in our Gladstone region now have access to a Chaplaincy Service as there are now 12 School Chaplains.”

They thanked Liz Cunningham for her continued support in her role as the Patron for the Gladstone and District Schools Chaplaincy Service.

Jarek will be involved with Red Frogs again for the 2020 Graduating Year 12 students on the Gold Coast.

This involves visiting regional schools to inform them about the Red Frogs services, training other Red Frogs personnel, being “on the ground” throughout the Year 12’s at the Gold Coast and being the Gladstone face for any students visiting the Gold Coast for their end of schooling celebrations.

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