Mental Health Week, from the Captains

Last week, Mental Health Week 2.0 took place with more workshops and activities and guest speakers from all over Australia. Last year’s inaugural Mental Health Week was a huge success but we wanted to build and make it even bigger and better.

We’re proud to announce that it was yet another great success in which we strengthened our community and raised awareness around the topics that arise with Mental Health.

We had Ella and Sarah Fitzpatrick dedicate the Sunday afternoon prior to walking around the school, writing positive, inspiring messages in chalk on the sidewalk and walls promoting self-care and support.

On Monday we had a Father’s Day Mass with prayers for the new and old dads out there but also for thanking them for everything they have done in our lives.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we had some of our leaders and staff get to school early and prepare some delicious egg and bacon rolls for our students, then pancakes and hot milo. Mrs Gysen and some members of her food studies class make healthy, nutritious smoothies for our students that were sold at lunchtimes.

Self-defence was one of the other great hands-on activities in which we could poarticipate. It was held by Dominic Old Scholar Alec Mielke who participates in martial arts himself. He was able to show what to do and how to defend yourself when faced with an attacker which was a great learning experience for everyone involved.

During lunchtime on Monday, boys of all ages got to go to a session on men’s grooming. Dion Shaw taught us about how to properly shave but he also told us how we should give 110% effort in everything we do because good things will come our way if we do so. We also had special Mary Kay consultant, Kristie come in and talk to some of our girls about skincare routines, how important your skin is, the vital role it plays and ways to look after it.

One of the best organisations that came to Dominic during this week was Project Rockit. They helped out students on creating a safe space and talking about sensitive subjects such as judgment, stereotypes and more. Their co-founder Lucy also spoke to the whole school on her experiences and how to face bullying.

We had Emma, a local dietitian talk to Year 10s about nutrition, how to look after our bodies and foods that have been shown to improve mood and reduce the risk of mental health illnesses. Less saturated fats and sugars and more healthy fats, antioxidants and prebiotics/probiotics are recommended.

We also had Mrs Magee along with Ella and Maddie take a body image session for all Year 8 girls, and Mr Davey along with Lachie and Tom take the Year 8 boys. We focused on trying to have and maintain a positive body image and body esteem. To focus on those things that you do like about yourself, not the negatives and to embrace them. We also looked into the factors around us that impact the way we feel about ourselves. The Year 8s also had the privilege of Matt Gray coming in to teach them about Mental Health First Aid and what to do when a person close to them has experienced mental health issues.

We had Mitch and James from Speak Up, Stay Chatty come back for Round 2 to host sessions with our Year 9s on how to ensure we talk and express our feelings and how to notice warning signs with your friends along with the Little Help Project and our 2018 College Captain Maggie Baker who is now a proud member of their team, come in and chat with our Year 7s about improving self-care skills and building confidence in supporting your peers.

There is nothing better than playing against our teachers in a sporting event (or any kind of competitive activity). On Thursday, Mr Parkin was able to set up a fun game of dodgeball where students from each grade could play against the teachers. There were a few times where the students did have the upper hand on the teachers but in the end, the teachers were crowned victors (Even though they were caught cheating a few times). Overall, it was an exciting and enjoyable game.

Then to finish the week off with a bang, once again, Dominic was able to showcase the student’s musical talent during a lunchtime concert - it was a great way to cap off a great week of learning and new experiences.

We’d like to give everyone who was involved with the development and delivery of Mental Health Week 2.0 a huge shout out and thanks. We’d especially like to thank all our guest speakers who went out of their way to be with us last week, for their generosity, time and effort and for coming to talk to our students.

We’d also like to give a massive thanks to all the teachers who were involved with the organisation of the week and those who held workshops and contributed throughout the week. We’d specifically like to thank Mr Davey who was overall, the chief. Without him, none of this would have been possible.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of our heart to everyone who was involved in making Mental Health Week possible. Without all of you, it wouldn’t have been the great success that it was. We appreciate everything you’ve all done and couldn’t be more grateful.

Lachlan Rowlands and Maddison Cockerill - College Captains