Wright Sam



Mental Health Literacy
A Strategic Whole School Approach

As a response to the challenging circumstances of our community and more specifically our students, the College has embarked on a whole school strategic approach to build mental health literacy within the community. To date, we have completed Stages 1-6 of this plan.

Stage 7 (Year 8 & Year 10 Teen Mental Health First Aid) has already started this Term with half the Year 10 cohort completing this valuable certificate. This equips teenagers with skills to recognise and assist friends facing mental health challenges. Encourage open discussions with your child, especially regarding sensitive topics like suicide.

Throughout the three sessions, students will look at:

Session 1 - Discuss mental health problems in general and understand how common and disabling these are in young people. Students also learn about professionals who can help.

Session 2 - Talking about helping a friend who is in crisis, whether because they are suicidal, engaging in non-suicidal self-injury, using alcohol or other drugs, or experiencing bullying or abuse.

The Action Plan (‘Look, Ask, Listen, Help Your Friend’) is introduced and applied to a crisis You can find details about the Action Plan on the MHFA website below. There is a video that shows a young man helping a friend who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Participants are told that in a crisis situation, it is important to get a responsible adult involved right away.

Session 3 - Takes a step back to discuss how to help if someone seems to be developing a mental health problem. We don’t teach students how to diagnose problems – it’s advice about being a supportive friend, encouraging the friend to seek help, and knowing when it’s time to get an adult involved. Your child will bring their manual home after session 3. There are resources for further information in the back that you may want to explore together.

While the Red and Yellow Houses are participating in this program, the other half of the year level will be participating in the Year 10 Leveling Up Program with an experienced guest speaker tackling some challenging topics for our adolescents, including:

Tagged (cyberbullying, sexting, and digital reputation session)

Tomorrow Man/Woman (single-sex sessions on identity and respectful relationships)

Elephant Ed (Consent education)

While we can be protective and proactive, the reality is that some students can be exposed to distressing content online. There is a connection between exposure to traumatic events and mental health issues, and it is important to be ready to support children and young people who may be struggling.

The eSafety Commissioner has released support resources for children, young people, and their families on how to deal with violent or distressing content when viewed online.

A Fact Sheet – What to do if you see distressing content online has been produced by the office of the eSafety Commission and can be accessed using the following link: https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-topics/illegal-restricted-content/distressing-content

Please note:

It's important to stay open and talk to your children about the content they see online. Encourage them to tell you what they have seen and how they feel – especially if exposed to distressing or violent material.

Sometimes parents and carers might need to take extra precautions to protect their children from seeing disturbing content online. Take a look at our resources in the Parents section of the website for advice about parental controls and what to do if your child sees distressing or violent content.

Find more advice on our pages across the website, including:

PAM – Student Digest
Building Connection between School & Home

Padua College has introduced a new feature called ‘Student Digest’ whereby a fortnightly email will be automatically generated and sent to PAM account holders each Day 10. This is a brief snapshot outlining your child's attendance, learning areas, and commendations over the two weeks, and all this information is currently available on the Parent Access Module (PAM).

The digest will have three categories:

  • Student Attendance
  • Learning Areas
  • Commendations

The information contained in this Digest is listed below.

The Student Digest has been sent twice, and we have received positive feedback from our parent community.

I wish to highlight that one of the outcomes of this process was to encourage greater accountability for learning areas tasks and due dates, so parents can have greater oversight of assessment requirements for their sons and daughters. If after speaking with your child you are finding inconsistencies with the data, especially dues dates of tasks I strongly encourage you to reach out to the specific classroom teacher to make them aware and explain this inconsistency.

Uniform Competition

As a way to reward and recognise those students wearing the correct uniform and uniform correctly, as a collective we will be running a Homeroom Uniform Competition with prizes given to the homeroom on each campus with the most days with ALL students in the homeroom in the correct uniform.

All homerooms registering a date with the correct uniform this term will go into a draw for a second prize!

Winners will be announced and prizes awarded on the last day of Term 2.

Fire Carrier Commissioning - Fire Igniting Reconciliation Education

Jessie Young, Student Mentor and staff members Ruby Potter, Mo Cromar and Graeme Pender attended the Frankston Fire Carrier Cluster Program Ceremony held at John Paul’s College, Frankston where they were commissioned as Fire Carriers for our Padua Community.

Local Lands Council Bunurong elders John West and Mark Brown led a beautiful Welcome to Country with storytelling and an explanation of the importance of First Nations connection to Country, stressing the importance of all having the responsibility to care as we “tread lightly” on the land.

We then came forward and cleansed ourselves in the smoke of the indigenous eucalypt, cherry, and wattle trees. We then moved indoors where we began the formal Commissioning where representatives from each of the nine schools read prayers, placed their current School Covenants on the altar, and read out their 2024 Statements. The Padua College statement read:

“This year may we continue to respect the First Nations spiritual connection to the Earth and its Creator Spirit through the Dreaming to work towards a better understanding of the social justice issues experienced by our First Nations people. United in our efforts with all those here present and others who are working towards true reconciliation, we commit to actively seek a more just alternative to the present order. This is encapsulated in our Paduan 2024 mercy theme which hereby declares - Let the love in our hearts show outwardly in our deeds.

Lisa Maloney from the Opening the Doors Foundation, a charity that supports the education costs for First Nation students, then blessed us as new Fire Carriers.

If you would like further information or wish to be involved, Jessie Young is planning to meet with the student and staff body to audit, reimagine and implement our new Fire Carrier covenant – more updates to follow so watch this space!

Padua College

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