We are committed to ensuring a safe and happy environment for your child.
We support your child’s health and safety through a range of strategies including:
- the behaviour code for students, which outlines the standards of behaviour expected in all NSW public schools
- anti-racism education
- anti-bullying programs
- conflict resolution and mediation training
- peer support
- road safety education
- the Healthy School Canteen Strategy.
For more information, visit the student wellbeing section of the department’s website.
Like all NSW public schools, we promote the healthy development of students through:
- school programs and practices that protect and promote health and safety
- supporting individual students who need help with health issues
- providing first aid and temporary care of students who become unwell or who have an accident at school.
Wellbeing Framework for Schools
The Wellbeing Framework supports schools to create learning environments that enable students to be healthy, happy, engaged, and successful.
Like all NSW public schools, we provide safe learning and teaching environments to encourage healthy, happy, successful, and productive students.
The department is committed to creating quality learning opportunities for children and young people. These opportunities support wellbeing through positive and respectful relationships and fostering a sense of belonging to the school and community.
The Wellbeing Framework for Schools helps schools support the cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual development of students and allows them to connect, succeed, and thrive throughout their education.
At Liverpool Girls High School, the Wellbeing Team works within a case management protocol, with counselling only being provided by trained school counsellors. This means that Wellbeing Team members are proactive in supporting students to seek solutions to their problems and to ensure student needs are identified in a timely matter, the support is provided from a strengths-based perspective that builds on students’ coping and resilience capacities. The approach is outcomes-driven to support students to achieve their goals. Wellbeing Team members will work in partnership with students, families, teachers, and community agencies to assess, plan, and monitor wellbeing needs and interventions. The most important aspect of a case management approach is to develop the skills of students for future wellbeing.
Wellbeing Head Teacher
The Head Teacher Wellbeing is responsible for the organisation and management of wellbeing support at Liverpool Girls High School. The primary focus is on prevention, early intervention programs, and support for students which includes: confidential support for students, support for families, advocacy and referrals to agencies, external support service and programs, support for students facing difficulties, and developing and delivering proactive wellbeing programs for students.
Year Advisors and Assistant Year Advisors
A Year Advisor is a teacher who has been selected by interview to take a pastoral care role with a whole year group of students. They are supported by an Assistant Year Advisor.
The Year Advisor is the first person a parent should approach to discuss any problems or issues about wellbeing concerns and provides assistance to students to effectively manage wellbeing issues. Students may seek help voluntarily or be referred by school staff, peers, or parents. It is vital that a supportive, caring rapport is established to ensure students feel they can approach their Year Advisor and Assistant Year Advisor for assistance.
Year Advisors meet regularly with colleagues on the Wellbeing Team to discuss caseloads, programs, and/or strategies and work collaboratively on Wellbeing initiatives.
The Deputy Principal’s key role is to assist the Principal in leading and managing the school. The Deputy Principal is a member of the senior executive of the school. The Deputy Principal is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the school and for the wellbeing of all students and staff. The Deputy Principal, along with the principal, is responsible for overseeing the teaching and learning programs in the school.
At Liverpool Girls High School, the Deputy Principals are proactive members of the Wellbeing Team, monitoring student wellbeing and providing support and advice to the principal about wellbeing matters. Our Deputy Principals liaise with outside agencies and service providers for assistance responsive to student needs and promote a safe, enabling school environment where students can connect, thrive, and succeed.
School counsellors are experienced teachers who have a degree in psychology and post-graduate qualifications in school counselling (psychologists). They work with students of all ages, and their families, from pre-school to Year 12. They assist teachers by strengthening the school's student welfare and wellbeing provisions and provide counselling and psychological assessment of students with specific needs. Their work with teachers in the classroom is designed to improve student learning outcomes. Matters discussed with the counsellor are confidential between the student and the counsellor. Parents may make an appointment to discuss matters of concern with the school counsellor.
School counsellors work with students, parents or carers, and teachers in a variety of ways including:
- counselling students
- assisting parents or carers to make informed decisions about their child's education
- assessing students' learning and behaviour
- assisting schools to identify and address disabilities that affect students' learning
- liaising with other agencies concerned with the well-being of students.
School counsellors are members of schools' student wellbeing and learning support teams. With the agreement of parents or carers, school counsellors will pass on to teachers, information that will assist them to better meet the needs of their students.
Students may refer themselves to the school counsellor or may seek an interview at the suggestion of a teacher, a parent or carer, or a friend.
A student's reasons for seeing a school counsellor may include worrying about school work, conflict with friends, being in trouble at school, or just feeling "down".
Parents or carers may seek advice from school counsellors about their child's school progress, educational options, including access to special education services, behaviour, and for information about help available from other agencies.
Except when students refer themselves to the school counsellor, parents or carers will be involved from the outset. Their consent is required before any psychological testing is undertaken.
Whether working with students, parents or carers, or teachers, school counsellors will explain how they work, listen carefully to what is said, help clarify options, and encourage informed decision-making.
Confidentiality - School counselling is a confidential service and school counsellors will check with students, parents or carers before passing on information (such as the results of tests of learning difficulties) to others. Confidentiality will be maintained unless legal requirements, e.g. child protection legislation, override it. Nor will confidentiality be maintained where someone may suffer serious harm from information being withheld.
The school Headspace Caseworker provides early intervention mental health services to 12-25-year-olds. They work to reduce the impact of mental health issues and drug and alcohol use on young people by offering support for their social and emotional wellbeing. Referrals can be made by the school counsellors and Deputy Principals. Young people and their families can also self-refer by phone or by attending one of the headspace centres. There is a Headspace centre located in Liverpool.
Student Support Officer
Student Support Officer (SSOs) work within the school community to enhance student wellbeing and learning outcomes in partnership with the school’s wellbeing team and the school counselling service.
SSOs provide individual and targeted wellbeing support and help with the implementation of whole-of-school approaches to wellbeing, helping students develop social and emotional skills through targeted strengths-based programs and strategies that build resilience, coping skills, and positive relationships.
SSOs also have a pivotal role in working collaboratively with external agencies and creating referral pathways for students and families to child and family support agencies.
Together, school counselling staff and the SSO work as part of the school learning support/wellbeing team to provide students with holistic support in their learning and wellbeing development.
Social Work Interns
The Social Work Interns work within the school community to enhance student wellbeing and learning outcomes in partnership with the school’s wellbeing team and the school counselling service.
Under the guidance of the Student Support Officer, the Social Work Interns facilitate and supervise students attending the ‘Breakfast Club’ before school and ‘Drop-In Room’ during lunch and support the implementation of the school’s whole-of-school approach to wellbeing, helping students develop social and emotional skills through targeted strengths-based programs and strategies that build resilience, coping skills and positive relationships.
Community Liaison Officer
The Community Liaison Officer (CLO) aims to improve communication between the school, families, and the community. CLOs also assist with fostering and sustaining community partnerships. Students, parents, carers, and community members are supported by Mrs. Samira Bawden, our Community Liaison Officer.
Parent Support Officer
The Parent Support Officer aims to improve communication between the school and families and as a result improving student engagement and achievement. Students, parents, carers, and community members are supported by Mrs. Latifa Zuhbi, our Parent Support Officer. Mrs. Latifa Zuhbi.
Every Student is Known, Valued, and Cared For
Ensuring that every student is known, valued, and cared for in our school is central to quality education. Both research and education practice has recognised the significance of wellbeing, and the reciprocal relationship between wellbeing and learning.
Wellbeing Enrichment Initiatives, Programs, and Workshops
The Wellbeing Team offers many opportunities for students to be involved in various wellbeing initiatives, programs, and workshops. Specific wellbeing programs are targeted to assist students experiencing particular issues whereas others are opportunities for students to be engaged in a different type of learning, in a new and exciting environment.
Physical environment: a place for all
Wellbeing Wall and Year Group Wellbeing Display Cabinets
The Wellbeing Wall offers students a wide range of wellbeing support resources, tips, and information available to take. Each year group has a wellbeing display cabinet that the Year Advisors/AYAs use as a form of communicating with their cohort.
Home Room Roll Call
Each morning a home room roll call is scheduled for 10 minutes before period 1. Home rooms are organised in year groups and roll classes consist of up to 30 students, with most staff allocated to a roll class. The purpose of the home room roll call is to mark attendance, collect absent notes, read the daily messages, and to provide guidance to students including uniforms.
Year Advisors/AYAs visit home rooms during roll call throughout the year for pastoral care purposes, allowing them to be available to students and communicate up-coming wellbeing activities, as part of the school’s proactive student wellbeing program.
Our Social Work Interns hold daily lunch time recreational educational and social activities in the ‘Drop-In’ Centre room J.0.10 for students who prefer to develop social connections in a safe, relaxed, and all-inclusive environment.
Student Participation: empowering students, preparing for life
Whole School Wellbeing Awareness and Charity Fund Raiser Assemblies
National Day of Action (NDA) – against bullying and violence - Students show their support in taking a stand against bullying and violence, by wearing NDA wristbands and signing LGHS anti-bullying pledge cards in the creation of an LGHS anti-bullying pledge wall.
R U OK? Day - Students learn how to talk to someone they are worried about and how to get them help.
Wear It Purple Day - Students show their support for an all-inclusive school environment and raise charity funds to support LGBTQIA+ youth.
Crazy Hair Day - Students learn about Alopecia Areata and show their support for all-inclusive school culture and raise charity funds for Alopecia Areata Australia, Wigs for Kids program.
Share the Dignity (It’s In The Bag) - Students show their support for women who are homeless and victims of domestic violence by donating personal hygiene items such as soap, perfume, shampoo, etc.
Assembly Stage Meetings
Stage meetings are scheduled twice a term (week 4 and 8) in order to facilitate targeted Wellbeing focus themes designed to proactively meet the needs of each year group and which involve activities relevant to developmental requirements and designed to encourage students to take personal and collective responsibility with issues such as bullying, cyber safety, social and emotional wellbeing.
Stage meetings also celebrate student achievement directly linked to our Academic Award system and Guiding Principles – REACH. SLC student representatives have the opportunity to address year groups about activities of the SLC in relation to the student cohort.
Student Leadership Council (SLC)
The Student Leadership Council is the primary student governance body at Liverpool Girls High School. It is an elected body, representative of the student community. It promotes student involvement in the life of the school. The SLC is not an executive body and any decisions taken in relation to school policy or procedures shall be in the form of recommendations to the Principal and School Executive.
The SLC currently consists of peer-elected members from all years to represent the views of all students. It consists of twenty-six members, including Aboriginal student leaders and refugee student leaders. The SLC meets at least once a week and is consulted on student issues by the SLC coordinator and Head Teacher Wellbeing.
The LGHS SLC aims to:
- Take action to improve the quality of school life for all students.
- Promote public education and its values.
- Promote effective participation in school life.
Represent students and raise student issues, engage in consultations and provide advice on educational and youth issues to staff and executive staff
Attendance: every day counts
100% Attendance Morning Tea
Student attendance is recognised and celebrated with a morning tea and award ceremony.
Personalised Learning: enabling all students to succeed
Individual Education Plan (IEPs)
Year 7 and Year 10 students participate in the development of Individual Education Plans during IEP Day. This personalised learning approach recognises the individual strengths, needs, and goals of students. Students participate in an online survey and are individually interviewed by a member of the IEP team (Year Advisor, Assistant Year Advisor, Learning Support teachers, and Student Support Officer), allowing them to further develop their rapport with students after their initial involvement during Transition. IEP day supports students to build resilience and have goal setting strategies in place with ongoing Year Advisor/AYA and Learning Support teacher mentoring and guidance. This personalised learning approach responds to individual differences by tailoring learning to meet each student’s developmental and motivational needs and directly correlates with ‘every student being known, valued, and cared for’.
Year 7 and year 10 students participate in this Strength-based program.
My Strengths Assessment is science-based psychology and helps students to:
- Grow in self-esteem & confidence - Students who discover their strengths grow confidence in who they are as a person, boosting self-esteem and changing self-perception.
- Find their natural uniqueness - Every single person has unique talents, skills & strengths – and many can’t recognise that. We help teens find & celebrate their own uniqueness, focusing on the great things within each individual.
- Improve their mental health - Students who discover their strengths have their focus shifted from what is wrong with them to what is actually right with them!
- Make better choices about their future - Students who discover their strengths are better equipped to make decisions about subjects, career, and personal life.
Transition: embracing change, building the new
For students there are three main transitions connected to high school:
- the transition into high school
- the transition from junior school (Years 7-10) to senior school (Year 11-12)
- the transition from high school to either the workforce or tertiary education
Each of these transitions is a time of change, which can create anxiety for students and their families. There are a number of things you can do to help reduce the stress or anxiety of these changes. Please contact the front office and ask to speak to a member of the Transition Team if you would like extra support. The Transition Team will be happy to help you with any of the following suggestions and will work with you if have suggestions of your own.
Transition into high school
During Year 6
- Transition day/s are organised prior to Orientation day for extra needs students in Year 6 who will be attending our school for Year 7. This program provides support for the younger students in their transition into secondary school.
- The Transition team - Wellbeing head teacher, Learning and Support head teacher and Year 6 Year Advisor are the contacts for this program.
- Have a look through the website. You will be able to see the bell times and find information about the different faculties.
- Like the school's Facebook page and see some of the great things that happen in high school.
- Check that any information about your child's extra needs has been provided to the Transition team.
Year 6 Transition Days
This program is designed to help identified vulnerable students with the transition from Primary to High School a positive and welcoming experience. Students are encouraged to come to the school during Year 6 to get to know the school, teachers, and staff in order to make the transition more comfortable and to encourage them to feel secure in their new environment. Year 6 students participate in resilience and getting to know you activities, developing a rapport with the Year Advisor/AYA and Learning Support teachers, Peer Support students, and another year 6 students.
Year 6 Orientation Day
Starting high school is an exciting time for students as well as their parents and carers. To help make the transition easier, chat with your child about what they can expect in Year 7. LINK – Starting High School
Liverpool Girls High School Orientation Day provides year 6 students, parents, and carers with an opportunity to participate in a variety of informative and welcoming activities, making the transition from primary to high school a positive and exciting one.
During Year 7
· Register for the Sentral Parent Portal for easy access to your child's timetable and information.
· Copy your child’s timetable into their student diary to make it easy for them to know where they need to go.
· Encourage your child to pack their bag the night before school so that they are not starting the day stressed by trying to find things.
· Check the Assessment Booklets and Sentral Calendar to keep track of when tasks are due.
Peer Support Program
Peer support places students at the centre of their learning and empowers them with practical skills and strategies to positively navigate life and relationships.
The current Peer Support program trains Year 10 students as Peer Support Leaders during Term 4 and runs 8 sessions with Year 7 students throughout the following year. The program helps students live with more direction. It gives Year 11 students opportunities for self-development and provides Year 7 students with a supportive environment in which to develop their own individuality.
Peer support creates a sense of belonging within the school – as a collaborative event, senior and junior students within the school community will be involved (as well as bringing the outside community into the school) and offers students an opportunity to grow and flourish via the enriching experiences that will be offered.
Relationships: the heart of wellbeing
Wellbeing Picnic Days
Designed by Year Advisors/AYAs to specifically address age-appropriate wellbeing needs in each year cohort.
Rock & Water Rock & Water is a 2-day immersive martial arts-based workshop aimed at supporting students to manage reactive behaviours and enhance their resilience skills.
Rock & Water program goals:
· increase body awareness and raise awareness of reaction patterns
· experience body strength and increase self-confidence
· use mental strength related to inner strength
Rock & Water program outcomes:
· practical anti-bullying strategies and enhanced resilience skills
· skills to identify reactive behaviour patterns and alternatives to aggressive, verbal and physical responses
· increased self-respect, self-confidence and self-control through grounding, centeredness and mental focus
Vulnerable students: every child needs a champion
Links 2 Learning
This program is run by MTC in the school. It targets Year 7-10 students who are at risk of disengaging from their school work for a number of reasons such as poor attendance, behavioural issues, peer relationships, family trauma, difficulties organising school work, etc.
Links 2 Learning is based on single-gender groups that complete a comprehensive program, one day a week, covering such things as positive self-image, career planning, anger management, teamwork, first aid, white card, barista, personal grooming, and resume writing. Groups of 15 students (or less) complete the program in a semester. The students are nominated by their Year Advisor, Head Teacher Wellbeing, and Deputy Principal of the year group.
Student health: healthy body, healthy mind
Online Wellbeing Support
Liverpool Girls High School Wellbeing Google Classroom and Year Advisor Google Classroom Our Wellbeing Google Classrooms were created to provide students with support and access to wellbeing resources, information, apps, and service providers during school holidays and times when Wellbeing Team members were not available for face-to-face access.
NSW Department of Education https://education.nsw.gov.au/student-wellbeing
Student Wellbeing Hub https://studentwellbeinghub.edu.au/students/
I’M WORRIED ABOUT MYSELF
Emotional health is a state of positive psychological functioning. It can be thought of as an extension of mental health; it's the 'optimal functioning' end of the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that make up both our inner and outer worlds. It includes an overall experience of wellness in what we think, feels, and do through both the highs and lows of life.
If you are experiencing a mental health issue, please click and refer to this page for support.
LINK - ANGER
When things aren't going your way, it’s natural to feel annoyed, frustrated, or even angry. Keeping your cool and managing your emotions in the heat of the moment is challenging at the best of times.
Anger can be our way of expressing or responding to a range of other feelings, such as:
· embarrassment or humiliation
· guilt or shame
· hurt or sadness
· feeling unable to control a situation
· feeling threatened or frightened
· feeling unfairly treated
· feeling misunderstood or not listened to
· feeling the pressure of living in two worlds (that is, First Nation Peoples and non-Indigenous)
· feeling a loss of connection to family, community, or country.
Refer to ReachOut for more information on how to deal with anger.
Child abuse and neglect are when a child is physically, emotionally, or sexually harmed. It is also when the health, safety, or wellbeing needs of a child are neglected. Child abuse can happen in families of any income, culture, or religion. It often happens over a long period of time. The effects of abuse and neglect are serious and can last a lifetime.
There are different forms of child abuse. These include neglect, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse:
· neglect: child neglect is the continued failure by a parent or caregiver to provide a child with the basic things needed for his or her proper growth and development, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical and dental care, and adequate supervision.
· sexual abuse: sexual abuse is when someone involves a child or young person in sexual activity by using their power over them or taking advantage of their trust.
· physical abuse: physical abuse is a non-accidental injury or pattern of injuries to a child or young person caused by a parent, caregiver, or any other person.
· emotional abuse or psychological harm: serious psychological harm can occur where the behaviour of their parent or caregiver damages the confidence and self-esteem of the child or young person, resulting in serious emotional disturbance or psychological trauma.
LINK - BODY IMAGE & SELF ESTEEM
It is common for young people to feel increasingly uncomfortable with their bodies as changes occur during adolescence. Low self-esteem occurs when expectations of how you want your body to look don’t match up to reality. These types of feelings can lead to distorted thoughts and emotions about your bodies.
The four aspects of body image:
· how you see your body is your perceptual body image. This is not always a correct representation of how you actually look. For example, a person may perceive themselves as overweight when they are actually underweight.
· the way you feel about your body is your affective body image. This relates to the amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction you feel about your shape, weight, and individual body parts.
· the way you think about your body is your cognitive body image. This can lead to preoccupation with body shape and weight. For example, some people believe they will feel better about themselves if they are thinner or more muscular.
· behaviours in which you engage as a result of your body image encompass your behavioural body image. When a person is dissatisfied with the way they look, they may isolate themselves because they feel bad about their appearance or employ destructive behaviours (such as excessive exercising or disordered eating) as a means to change the appearance.
For support with body image and self-esteem issues, refer to ReachOut.
We can all experience anxious feelings sometimes – it might be about exam results, a job interview, or even who will win the final of a sports match. These feelings are a normal part of life and can help us avoid danger or perform at our best. For some people though, their anxious feelings can be much more extreme. This anxiety is more than feeling stressed – it's a serious condition that makes day-to-day life difficult.
Anxiety is the body’s physical response to fear. The symptoms might include:
· racing heart
· rapid breathing
· butterflies in your stomach
· ‘burst’ of energy.
The Black Dog Institute has more resources on anxiety.
Learn about mental health challenges and ways to maintain a healthy headspace. Chat online, email, or speak on the phone with a qualified professional. It’s free, confidential, and can be anonymous.
LINK – BULLYING
Bullying is behaviour that is meant to be hurtful, targets a person or group of people, happens more than once, and embarrasses, threatens, or intimidates the person being bullied.
It may happen in person but can also happen out of sight or online. Bullies don’t always work alone. The impact of bullying can be even greater when a group of people begins to act together. Cyberbullying happens at least every few weeks to about one in 10 young people, and workplace bullying is also a common experience reported by young people.
The experience of being bullied is different for everyone. People may feel alone, anxious, scared, miserable and powerless, while others may feel overwhelmed by sadness, ashamed or rejected. They may feel there is no escape from the bully or that there is no hope that things will change. Anger is another common reaction, as the attack from the bully is unfair and unwarranted.
LINK – DRUGS & ALCOHOL
Drugs and alcohol change the balance of chemicals that help your brain to think, feel, create, and make decisions. The drugs and alcohol you use can affect you both now and in the future. Changing drug and alcohol habits can take time, but with support and perseverance, you will notice positive changes in your mental and physical wellbeing.
Signs and symptoms of substance abuse or addiction:
· regularly or continued substance use to cope emotionally, socially or physically
· neglecting responsibilities and activities that are important or enjoy (such as work, study, family, hobbies, sports, social commitments)
· participating in dangerous or risky behaviours as a result of substance use (for example drink driving, unprotected sex, using dirty needles)
· relationship problems (such as arguments with partner, family, friends, or losing friends)
· physical tolerance – needing more of the substance to experience the same effects
· withdrawal – physical and mental withdrawal symptoms when you are not using the substance or needing the substance to feel “normal”
· losing control of your substance use – being dependent or unable to stop even if you want or try to
· substance use takes over your life (like spending a lot of time using, finding, or getting the substance and recovering from the effects)
More information on drugs and alcohol is available via ReachOut.
LINK – GRIEF & LOSS
Feelings of loss and grief can be really strong when you lose something or someone. You might experience a range of emotions and wonder if the pain of your loss will ever fade. No one can tell you how to feel or how to grieve but it can help to talk about it and get support from the people who care about you.
The intensity of our grief, how long it lasts, and our reactions to it will differ from person to person. Some common reactions include:
· feeling sad or down
· frequent crying
· shock, denial, numbness
· stress, anxiety, confusion, exhaustion
· anger, guilt, shame, blame or even relief
· loneliness, isolation, and withdrawal
· feeling or acting differently to usual
· physical health problems – headaches, changes in eating or sleeping patterns
· difficulty concentrating
· not enjoying usual activities and hobbies
· tension or problems with personal relationships
· increased alcohol, smoking or drug use
· feeling hopeless or like you can’t go on – thoughts of suicide or self-harm
For more information on getting help with feelings of grief and loss please refer to Lifeline.
For some young people, feelings of sadness and unhappiness outweigh their happy and excited emotions.
When you have depression, these sad feelings become overwhelming and long-lasting, affecting how you think, how you feel, and what you do. These feelings can last for weeks, months, or even longer.
Emotional symptoms of depression include:
· feeling sad, down or empty for most of the day, nearly every day
· loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
· becoming withdrawn from friends or family
· feelings of worthlessness or guilt
· crying for no reason.
Physical symptoms of depression include:
· low energy, fatigue, and reduced activity
· insomnia or difficulty sleeping
· loss of appetite or weight
· increased sleep or appetite (atypical depression)
· trouble concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
· slowed body movements, thinking or speech
· difficulty sitting still, pacing or hand-wringing
· diminished sex drive
· back pain or headaches
· feeling sick and run down
· digestive problems.
Symptoms of anxiety are also common in people with depression, as the 2 conditions often occur together.
LINK – FAMILY
Everyone has a family conflict. Occasional tension or arguments are a normal part of family life. Whether it’s with your parents or siblings, there are things you can do to stop conflict from getting worse. However, if you feel unsafe or can’t resolve it on your own, you should get help.
Conflict is a normal part of family life and can often escalate during the teenage years. About 1 in 5 young people say they are concerned about family conflict, which can arise for many different reasons. There are simple tools parents can use to help minimise the impact of conflict on their children and strengthen family relationships.
Some signs of this could be:
· notice that fighting is increasing in your home
· want to know the reasons why conflict arises
· want to know ways to manage and minimise family conflict.
Lifeline offers support for family and relationship problems.
Kids Help Line Kids Helpline
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private, and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Call: 1800 55 1800
LINK – IDENTITY & GENDER
Feeling ‘different’ can be tough, especially when you’re a teenager going through lots of changes. The most important thing is to be true to yourself and surround yourself with supportive people.
Things to look out for in the young person struggling with gender and identity may also experience:
· changes in mood – feeling sadder, more anxious, or more irritable than usual
· changes in behaviour – being less talkative, becoming withdrawn or being more aggressive
· changes in relationships – falling out with friends or their partner, or conflict with family
· changes in appetite – eating more or less than usual, or losing or gaining weight rapidly
· changes in sleep patterns – not sleeping enough, or sleeping too much
· changes in coping – feeling overwhelmed or tired of life
· changes in thinking – more negative thoughts, or thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Find more information on identity and gender issues.
QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
Call: 1800 184 527
LINK – RELATIONSHIPS & FRIENDSHIPS
All relationships and friendships go through difficult times and experiencing occasional problems and conflict in personal relationships is normal. However, sometimes these problems can become overwhelming.
When friendships don’t go smoothly it can be a really stressful time.
Some common friendship concerns for teenagers:
· changes in friendships or a friend’s behaviour
· moving away from old friends and having to meet new ones
· growing apart from friends and developing different interests
· new people joining friendship groups and changing the dynamic
· getting dumped by friends and not knowing why.
For support with relationships and friendships refer to ReachOut.
LINK - STRESS
Experiencing stress is part of being alive. A small amount of stress, such as meeting a challenge or deadline can actually be helpful. It can lead to increased alertness, energy, and productivity. A complete lack of stress can lead to reduced motivation and performance.
Stress triggers off the 'fight or flight' response, preparing the body to take action against potential danger. Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released, causing the heart rate, metabolism, and breathing rate to speed up.
The symptoms of stress and changes with your body that you may notice include:
· other aches and pains
· upset stomach, diarrhea
· high blood pressure
· weakened immune system
· muscle tension
· change in sex drive (male or female).
The symptoms of stress affecting your mind, thoughts, and feelings include:
· anxiety, worry
· anger, irritability
· feeling overwhelmed and out of control
· feeling moody, tearful
· difficulty concentrating
· low self-esteem, lack of confidence
The symptoms of stress that impact your behaviour include:
· overeating or undereating
· relationship problems
· alcohol, smoking or drug abuse
· avoiding people.
Here are 7 tips to help with stress and anxiety.
LINK – SUICIDE
Feelings of despair and hopelessness are common in a young person with anxiety and depression. If you do feel isolated and alone and have thoughts of suicide, then you need to let someone know that you need help.
If you, or someone you care about, is in crisis and you think immediate action is needed, call emergency services (triple zero or 000), contact your doctor or mental health crisis service, or go to your local hospital emergency department. Do not leave the person alone, unless you are concerned for your own safety.
There are a number of warning signs that a person might be thinking about suicide. Some of these include:
· discussions surrounding suicide, even if it seems to be a joke
· being moody, withdrawn or sad (note that a sudden positive mood can also be a bad sign as it may mean a person has made up their mind to suicide)
· losing interest in things they previously enjoyed
· taking less care of their appearance
· anxiety or agitation, including difficulty concentrating or sleeping
· engaging in self-destructive or risky behaviour
· increased use of alcohol or drugs
· previous suicide attempts
· giving possessions away and saying goodbye
· gaining access to a means of ending their life.
Here are three steps to help prevent suicide.
Suicide Call Back Service https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/
Provide free counselling for suicide prevention & mental health via telephone, online & video for anyone affected by suicidal thoughts, 24/7.
Call: 1300 659 467
Self-harm means any behaviour which involves the deliberate causing of pain or injury to oneself, usually as an extreme way of trying to cope with distressing or painful feelings. Self-harm includes cutting, burning, or hitting oneself, binge-eating or starvation, or repeatedly putting oneself in dangerous situations. It can also involve the abuse of drugs or alcohol, including overdosing on prescription medications.
Self-harm is relatively common. Research shows that about 1% of Australians have self-harmed within the last month and about 8% have self-harmed in their lifetime. Most people start self-harming as a teenager or young adult. It can continue for many years and become a habit that is difficult to stop.
Examples of self-harm may include:
· cutting the skin with sharp objects
· taking an overdose of medication or drinking poison
· hitting the body with fists or another object
· punching walls or other objects
· scratching or picking the skin, resulting in bleeding or welts
· pulling out hairs.
Refer to Lifeline for more information on how to get help with self-harming.
Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
Call: 1300 22 4636
Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community'.
Positive psychology is based on the study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It focuses on the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities, and organisations to thrive.
Positive psychology shifts the focus from ‘what’s the problem?’ to addressing ‘what’s going well?'
The Positive Psychology Centre uses the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and to enhance the experiences that they have.
The major aims of positive psychology are:
· rise to life challenges, make most of setbacks and adversity
· engage and relate to other people
· find fulfillment in creativity and productivity
· look beyond oneself and help others to find lasting meaning, satisfaction, and wisdom.
Tips for a healthy headspace
- Download these tips for a healthy headspace (PDF 147KB) for more information.
Beyond Blue's healthy families initiative is all about giving you the information, knowledge, and confidence to support the young people in your life – whether you’re a parent, guardian, grandparent, uncle, or auntie.
This is like an interactive self-help book that helps you to learn and practice skills that can help to prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. For more information visit MoodGym.
ReachOut provides practical tools and support to help young people get through everything from everyday issues to tough times.
Good mental health is about living life in a satisfying way, coping with life's challenges both big and small, managing the stress of school and work, and maintaining your own mental wellbeing. Visit mental fitness for further information.
Find out what kind of self-care is right for you by taking this quiz.