From The Principal

The final few days of Term 3, like the previous 9½ weeks, have remained extremely busy in and around the College as Mercy Week and Mental Health Awareness are recognised and celebrated.

It is quite appropriate that after such a busy Term, we take time to reflect on ways in which we can enhance and improve our mental health.  At our Assembly on Wednesday our Heads of Council, Grace Chapman and Tashya Wijesinha, shared a video they had created that involved people within our Carmel community, staff and students, explaining what mental health means to them, and how they take care of their mental health.

From those featured in the video, common themes around mental health were that it involves taking care of your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others through connecting, listening and being available.  It is how we feel, think and act, and about developing a positive mindset, while taking care of our mind and body.

To take care of our mental health, students shared strategies like going outside, walking, spending time with others, listening to music, whilst also knowing from where and whom to seek support when required. One student highlighted the importance of reducing the negative stigma that can exist in and around mental health.  She explained that conversations around mental health occur more frequently when people are at their worst, but encouraged students to reflect on their own mental health, even when they are in a ‘good space’.  Learning about and being aware of when this positive space exists can assist in overcoming potential negative times when they inevitably occur.

I reflected on how my messages to the students have been about being engaged and involved in the many opportunities available at the College.  However, it is also important that we support our young women in finding a balance between their academic, co-curricular, family, community and social commitments.

A way we can support our young women is by encouraging them to reflect on what has worked well this Term and what hasn’t, and look at reasons why over the term break.  By reflecting and discussing the highs and lows over the last 10 weeks, there are opportunities to learn and develop strategies, which, can then be put into practice as our students prepare for Term 4.

I challenge our students over the next two weeks to find a balance between rest and recuperation, and preparation and self improvement.  Yes, our girls need to have a break, but they also need to ensure that each day they are doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity, at least 30 minutes of reading, and unplugging from devices at least 30 minutes before bed to ensure they return to school reinvigorated, refreshed and ready to make the most of the continuing opportunities the College has to offer.