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Creating a safe place for learning at Carrum Downs Secondary College

This blog was written by Kristen Young, a Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health.

It is no secret that 2020 has been an extremely challenging year.

With Frankston and Mornington Peninsula communities learning and working remotely at the moment, the Health Promotion Team at Peninsula Health has had to think creatively and change how we support schools, sporting clubs and workplaces to be healthy settings.

Despite the challenging circumstances, this month, our Health Promotion Team worked closely with Carrum Downs Secondary College, to receive recognition from Victoria Government for their hard work in promoting mental health and wellbeing at school.

The school has solid programs in place, such as SAFE Minds, a framework which enables teachers to quickly identify students who may be struggling with their mental health, by identifying symptoms early, linking students to the mental health support they need to thrive.

The school supports the wellbeing of students, staff and families and recognise the important role physical environment has on mental health. Classrooms are light and bright and outdoor spaces encourage students to talk and connect.

“Horticulture students have created our garden beds, which are planted with beautiful native vegetation” says Eve – Wellbeing Leader. 

There is a productive “Village Garden” which yields fresh herbs and vegetables for the school’s café and cooking activities. Gardening activities occur regularly, which the students just love to participate in. The friendly chickens and ducks keep weeds and insects down and produce eggs which are sold at the community café – Café 365. 

Working towards recognition for the Mental Health and Wellbeing benchmark has given Carrum Downs Secondary College something positive to focus on during what has been a challenging time.

“It was satisfying to reflect on the things we are doing well at Carrum Downs Secondary College and the structure we have created to promote mental health and wellbeing. It was lovely to reflect on the programs and partnerships we have worked hard to establish over the past 5 years,” said Eve.

If your school is looking for any support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can set the pace together and there is no pressure involved.

Now could be the perfect time for us to work together to update your school health and wellbeing policies, for example.

Kristen can be contacted at: kyoung@phcn.vic.gov.au

If you are interested in creating healthy environments, would like to partner with us, or have a question, please contact us at: healthpromotion@phcn.vic.gov.au