Teen Mental Health First Aid and Rites of Passage

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Teen Mental Health First Aid - Murwillumbah Rotary Club

Murwillumbah High School Teen Mental Health First Aid Course 2023 (Rites of Passage)

For some years now, the focus of Murwillumbah Rotary Club has been youth oriented and wherever possible the club has structured its projects to support young people and address youth issues.

As a recipient of last year’s NRCF annual Community Grants Program, over 700 people, including students and teaching staff, directly benefited from the Rotary Club’s 2023 project: Murwillumbah High School Teen Mental Health First Aid Course.

Murwillumbah Rotary Club initially approached Murwillumbah High School to run a Teen Mental Health First Aid Course for all Year 10 students in the 2020 school year. This Course was fully funded by the club and was such a success that they wanted to continue their offering in subsequent years.

In fact, due to their success, Teen Mental Health First Aid Courses have now been adopted by the NSW Department of Education for all schools in NSW and will be run by dedicated school staff.

Teen Mental Health - First Aid - Murwillumbah Rotary Club

In light of this, and after consultation with the school’s Student Support Officer, The Rotary Club of Murwillumbah used the NRCF grant funding to run a Rites of Passage (ROP) Program for the High School students at the Murwillumbah Learning Centre.

The project was run in 3 phases:

  1. A scoping process to meet the leadership, general staff and students of the school and understand their wellbeing program/strategy.
  2. A presentation to school staff showing how ROP can improve wellbeing and mental health of students.
  3. A presentation to parents to discuss challenges, the impact of technology and provide tools to support parents help transition students into positive adults.

The presentation was hosted by Dr Arne Rubinstein and provided clear guidelines and practical solutions to support parenting and build strong, healthy relationships with teenagers in these times of the enormous influence of technology.

Heath Sanderson, Deputy Principal at Murwillumbah Learning Community, was enthusiastic about the course, saying:

The Rites of Passage workshop was a great success here at the Murwillumbah Learning Community. A number of key members were involved in the workshop such as eight students, teachers and parents each in their own individual groups.

During this workshop our students said they felt heard and their opinion was valid and appreciated.

The general feedback we received from all was they would love to see what else the organisation has to offer in terms of camps and further information sessions.”

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