Year 7 Leaders "In Your Head" Mental Health Youth Forum

Ben Freel Year 7/8 Coordinator

Earlier in the term, nine lucky Year 7 Student Leaders (Portfolio Holders and Pastoral Care Group Representatives) and a lucky Year Coordinator (me!) ventured off into the city to attend the annual "In Your Head" Youth Mental Health Forum.

After finding it extremely difficult to park a bus in the city (a mental health issue in itself!), we finally made it in.

The forum was opened by MC David Castelanelli, Western Australia's Youth Ambassador for 2018 and good friend of the School. David began by engaging us all straight away in some very entertaining live smart phone surveys and of course, speaking from his own unique experiences.

We were then treated with 3 keynote speakers; Paris Mitchell, motivational speaker and musician who overcame drug addiction, jail and depression; Ashleigh Nelson, Australian Hockeyroos player; & Akram Azimi, former refugee and 2013 Young Australian of the Year. Very inspirational individuals indeed.

Moreover, the day also consisted of three breakout sessions where the students and I were given the opportunity to explore more specific topics that interested us personally. The breakout session options ranged from "Urban Dance" to "Aboriginal Mental Health", all the way through to "Secret Women's Business", "Taming Anxiety", "Nutrition", "Posture", & "Mindfulness" to name just a few of the multitude available. These sessions turned out to be really great, as they were run in smaller groups, which enabled more participant involvement and interaction.

After a full day learning about how to best manage ourselves and help others in trying times, each student was then gifted with a "Mental Health Hero" bracelet. The Year 7 Student Leaders have been given special permission to wear these bracelets around School in order to act as leaders in the field of supporting other students – So if you see them around, shout out!

Big thanks must go to Serpentine Jarrahdale Grammar School parents Natalie Quinlan and Brad Drabsch for the fantastic opportunity and sponsorship to attend this wonderful event. It was a great day out and very much appreciated from the Student Leaders and I.

Mr Ben Freel

Year 7 & 8 Coordinator



Cnr Bishop and Soldiers Roads
Mundijong, Western Australia

Locked Bag 1
Mundijong WA 6123

PHONE (+61 8) 9526 5000
FAX (+61 8) 9525 9130