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St Luke’s College’s wellbeing week focuses on college students’ mental health and breaking down stigma

Mental health and wellbeing is at the centre of a two-week program held by a Karratha high school aiming to help students understand it’s OK to not be OK.

The Wellbeing Week program is run by St Luke’s College and is part of their pastoral care facility.

It runs from August 29 to September 9 with students taking part in a series of activities from bushwalks to meditation to help students be more aware of their mental health.

Pastoral Care staff member Brooke Pollard said this was the third year the school had run the Wellbeing Week program.

“It stemmed from us recognising that there’s a need that our kids really need to understand what mental health actually is what it looks like,” she said.

Ms Pollard said it was an educational and preventative program which focused on mental health and mindfulness practices.

“We’re looking at the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing, so not just one aspect of wellbeing we’re looking at all of the facet,” she said.

At the centre of the Wellbeing Week program is R U OK Day held on September 7.

“So that’s our central focus, educating and promoting the question “Are you OK?” and that it’s OKto not be OK,” Ms Pollard said.

Counsellor Tara Norman said the program helps children with social anxiety and school avoidant behaviour feel a little bit more motivated to attend.

“So we see the kids who are quite disengaged from education and not wanting to be at school, they are actually more present in those times, which helps them push through that big anxiety barrier,” she said.

Ms Norman said suicide was the leading cause of death in Australia for adolescents.

“So it’s important to get on the front foot and give kids the toolboxes and skills they need to jump in when they recognise they’re not feeling good before it becomes a really big problem for them and to reach out to their peers,” she said.

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