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This might be a confusing and anxious time for a lot of people, so please do have a look at the resources below. There is also a coping with COVID 19 tip sheet from Headspace which you might find useful.

Keeping Healthy

It is so important for all people, especially teenagers, to be maintaining healthy lives. When we aren’t getting enough sleep, exercise or healthy food, it is very hard to maintain positive emotional, mental and physical health, let alone to focus on our learning!

Please see these tip sheets about good exercise, good sleep and good diet. 

Especially in the current situation where there is heightened anxiety and health concerns, it is so important that everyone is looking after themselves and each other.

Wellbeing Pathways for Students and Families

Anxiety, sadness, stress and relationship issues are things that we can all experience from time to time.  Sometimes these experiences can become so full on that they get in the way of daily life.  Here at WSSC, Graduate Program teachers and House Leaders are the first contacts for wellbeing concerns, and they can refer onto the Wellbeing team if necessary.  In most cases, students and their families who are facing these difficulties will be supported to access the services below.

We encourage students and families to access these services any time they might be of help:

  • Headspace Albury Wodonga – Young people aged between 12 and 25 years can phone Headspace on 02 6055 9555, can walk in to the office at 155 High Street, Wodonga, or can chat on the phone or online at eheadspace.org.au or 1800 650 890
  • Your GP (doctor) – Your usual doctor can help with a whole range of physical and mental health issues, as well as concerns about drug use and sexual health.

Doctors can also give you a Mental Health Care Plan for subsidised psychologist appointments if they think that this would help your mental health.

NOTE: We have Dr Jess attend WSSC on Mondays through the bulk-billed Doctors in Schools program. Text 0401 264 256 for an appointment, leaving your name, phone number and school name.

For any concerns outside of hours, the following phone numbers can be accessed:

  • Young people can phone eheadspace as above, or Kids Helpline (up to age 25) on 1800 55 1800 (24 hours a day and free from any Australian mobile).
  • A useful phone service for parents is Parentline.
    • In Victoria, Parentline can be reached on 13 22 89 from 8am to midnight 7 days a week
    • NSW Parentline can be reached on 1300 1300 52 from 9am to 9pm weekdays, and 4pm to 9pm on weekends
  • Any person can also phone Lifeline, which is open 24/7, on 13 11 14.
  • In an emergency, always phone 000

These services are generally those most frequently accessed by WSSC students. If you feel that these services won’t meet your needs, and would like to discuss your situation further, talk to your GP teacher, House Leader or WSSC wellbeing staff.

In an emergency, always phone 000

School-based wellbeing supports

At WSSC, we understand that some students face difficulties that make it hard for them to get to school or to learn. Sometimes students can use their own resources (like family, friends, and other support networks) to get the help and support that they need to get them through a tough time. Other times, students find that they just need some help to link in to the support that they need at a particular time or to help them through a particularly difficult situation.

Most of our students have completed Mental Health First Aid training, so they have the skills to be able to look for signs that they or their friends might be struggling, and they know to tell an adult if they are worried about a friend or about themselves.

We are very lucky to have an extensive wellbeing team to support all of our students, including the following:

GP Teachers

Every student has a GP teacher who they see on period 2 Mondays and period 4 Thursdays. Your Graduate Program teacher is someone that can help you with issues around attendance, study goals, career goals, study and exam stress, and feeeling like a part of the school community. Your GP teacher is someone who cares about your welfare and how you are going at school both academically and socially. They are a person who is there for you and who you can go to as a person you trust within the school community.

You can access your GP teacher by seeing them during GP class, during lunch and recess times, or by emailing them.

Inclusion Aides

Our supportive range of inclusion aides work alongside students who might need some support within the classroom. Our inclusion aides support a range of students with a range of barriers to accessing education. They encourage all students to play a part in making our college a safe and equal community.

EAL (English as an Additional Language) Support Staff

Our EAL support staff build really important relationships with the students at our college whose first language is not English. Apart from increasing English skills, our EAL staff also support students in a range of other ways, ensuring that all students feel like, and are treated like, important members of the school community.

Careers Team

Our careers team offer invaluable support to all students in relation to subject choices, university pathways, TAFE pathways, career pathways, apprenticeships, work placements, and a range of other things!

WSSC’s careers team have a great website which you can find at wssccareers.com

Doctors in Schools 

WSSC and WMYC are very lucky to be part of the Doctors in Schools program, where the Department of Education Victoria funds Doctor Jess Madden to come in to school to see our students.

Dr Jess and nurse Helen are both very approachable and provide a full range of general medical services to our students for free (as long as you have a medicare card). They can help students with anything that any other GP can help with, and as Australian Government rules state, all students at WSSC are over the age where they can attend any doctor without permission from an adult.

Dr Jess and Helen attend WSSC every Monday between 10am and 2pm.

Text 0401 264 256 for an appointment, leaving your name, phone number and school name.

House Leaders

Your House Leaders are able to offer support if you are struggling with study load, subject choices, anxiety, peer relationships, and a whole range of other things. Your House Leaders are approachable people who are committed to promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all students at WSSC. Your House Leaders are shown below:

You can access your House Leader by dropping in to their office during lunch and recess times, or by emailing them. 

 

Assistant Principals

There are three assistant principals at WSSC, and two of them have the job of overseeing student management and wellbeing. This means that they are the boss of the house leaders and wellbeing staff. This also means that although their title ‘Assistant Principal’ might sound intimidating, they actually also play a big wellbeing role at our college, and they have a good understanding of how to help people who are struggling.

The assistant principals who are responsible for student wellbeing are shown below:

You can access Mr Smit or Mr Moylan by dropping in to their offices during lunch and recess times (they are behind the House Leaders office, past the uniform cupboard), or by emailing them.

DTM (Defence Transition Mentor)

Our DTM Jacqui offers support to students whose parents are serving members of the Australian Defence Force. Jacqui’s role is to support these students who have often had to relocate every few years and navigate different schools and different education systems in each state. Our DTM helps to connect our students so that they feel like an important part of our school community, as well as helping students to plan and run ceremonies commemorating ANZAC and Remembrance Day.

DTM (Defence Transition Mentor)

Our Koori support mentor Sue works to support those students within our school who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Sue supports students to apply for a range of resources and programs such as AFL Sports Ready and school based traineeships, as well as a range of scholarships.

Sue also runs excursions to Indigenous locations to help increase student knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture.
Our Koori Program is aimed at Closing the Gap and maximising the opportunities for Koori students to successfully complete their secondary education.

Counsellor and Social Workers

WSSC has a counsellor, Jenni, who is able to offer targeted, short-term counselling support to students. This counselling can be around grief and loss, family issues, emotional health and safety, or other issues that can be worked through with the help of talking therapy. For students who need longer term counselling or have particular mental health diagnoses meaning they need to be working with a psychologist, our team of social workers can help them to link in with appropriate supports.

WSSC has three social workers: Grace, Nicolle and Leesa. Their role is to help students and families to link with supports both inside and outside of the school to meet their needs. WSSC social workers can help link students with supports for a range of issues including financial difficulties, mental health, physical health, family issues, safety concerns, sexual health and safety, and emotional health, among other things.

Referrals to our counsellor and social workers go through House Leaders. Parents or teachers can refer a student to wellbeing by talking to House Leaders about the issues they are concerned about.

Wellbeing supports at WSSC are voluntary, so we do not work with students unless they want to work with us. Our support is guided by needs and goals that are identified by the student, and is aimed at helping students to develop skills needed to make positive changes in their lives.

Student privacy is a very important part of our wellbeing service and we adhere to strict confidentiality policies.

Students can self-refer for counselling or social work by talking to any teacher or House Leader within the school, by dropping a note in the mailbox outside the wellbeing area (opposite HL office), or by emailing wellbeing@wssc.vic.edu.au
All referrals will be triaged through House Leaders and through the wellbeing team’s Referral and Assessment Meeting, where wellbeing staff will decide which supports are best to offer to each student at this time.

Safe Schools

Our school is proud of its commitment to be a Safe School, which means that we aim to ensure that WSSC is a safe place for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students, and that WSSC is free of discrimination.

The Safe Schools program helps schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTI students.
It recognises that creating a safe and inclusive environment is key to tackling bullying and harassment, and preventing suicide and self-harm.
All students should be safe from bullying and feel included at school. Students who don’t feel safe or included at school cannot learn effectively and reach their full potential.
Safe Schools is not a subject taught in the classroom and it is not a part of the curriculum.
It is a program for principals, teachers and school communities.

Please email wellbeing@wssc.vic.edu.au if you want more information about how we are managing Safe Schools at WSSC, or if you want to get involved!

Albury-Wodonga face-to-face wellbeing supports

There are many services supporting a range of people around Albury-Wodonga. We have made a list of some of the services that are most commonly used by our students and families.

Headspace Albury Wodonga

Headspace offers a safe and confidential environment for young people aged 12- 25 and their families to access services such as education, training and employment support, alcohol and drug support, general health, wellbeing and mental health support. At headspace Albury Wodonga you can access a range of support through professionals such as alcohol and drug counsellors, generalist counsellors and youth workers, aboriginal support workers, education and employment providers, homelessness services, general practitioners and sexual health Clinic 35. Headspace bulk bills all appointments – which means that there will be no out of pocket costs to you. All you need to do is bring your medicare card along with you. If you don’t have a medicare card, don’t panic! Simply have a conversation with the worker and they will discuss some options with you. Additionally, the headspace Albury Wodonga centre is wheelchair friendly, with disabled parking available to cater for every young person’s needs.

Young people aged between 12 and 25 years can make a referral by phoning Headspace Albury Wodonga on 02 6055 9555, or can walk in to the office at 155 High Street, Wodonga.

For online support, you can chat online at eheadspace or can chat on the phone on 1800 650 890.

Junction Support Services (Victoria)

Junction Support Services supports people who are disadvantaged through poverty, homelessness, family breakdown, social isolation, family violence, poor mental health and drug and alcohol addiction. They offer supports such as homelessness support, counselling, accommodation and housing support, the Wodonga Youth Refuge, and other supports.

Victorian students and families can refer to Junction by calling their Intake Officer on 0260437400, by emailing reception@junction.org.au, or by dropping in to their office at 155 Melbourne Road, Wodonga.

YES Unlimited (NSW)

YES Unlmited offers accommodation and homelessness services, therapeutic services, The Hive Youth Resource Centre in Lavington (the old library), as well as a range of housing, legal, financial and sexual health advice services, including Broughton House youth refuge.

NSW students and families can refer to YES by phoning 1800 885 355 or 0260586200, by emailing admin@yesunlimited.com.au, or by dropping in to their office at The Hub, 562 Macauley Street, Albury.

North East Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (NECAMHS)

NECAMHS are part of Albury Wodonga Health, and work with young people aged 0-18 who are in need of specialist mental health services. NECAMHS workers are a team of occupational therapists, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists and reception/admin staff.

Young people, or parents who are concerned about their young person, can phone Intake on 0260517900 and arrange a discussion about whether NECAMHS is the right service for them.

Open Arms

Open Arms offers mental health and wellbeing support for current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel and their families. This includes free and confidential counselling, as well as group treatment programs.

Current or ex-serving ADF members and their families can phone 1800 011 046, 24/7 to refer to supports in Wodonga.

Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS)

AWAHS is a one stop shop where Indigenous Australians can access a range of supports for their physical and emotional health, including doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, and other allied health supports.

Indigenous Australians can make an appointment by phoning 1800 421 640 or 0260401200, or pop in to AWAHS at 664 Daniel Street, Glenroy.
In an emergency, always phone 000

Online and Phone wellbeing supports

There are many websites, online resources, and phone and web chat lines which can be useful in maintaining emotional health and addressing your wellbeing needs. We have listed some of our favourites below. If you click on each heading, it will take you to the appropriate website.

Especially while face-to-face services might be less accessible at this time due to changing rules about Covid-19, online and telephone supports will be very important. They also might experience higher usage than usual, so please be patient if waiting to chat, and please try multiple phone numbers if one is busy or not working at this busy time.

We’ve put the supports below into two categories – firstly those resources that are good for finding out information and getting general support, and secondly those resources to call in a crisis situation. Remember, always call 000 if it is an emergency.

This might be a confusing and anxious time for a lot of people, so please do have a look at the resources below. There is also a coping with COVID 19 tip sheet from headspace which you might find useful.

Headspace / eHeadspace

If you are looking for information about:

  • work and study support
  • relationships and friendships
  • gender
  • alcohol and other drugs
  • mental health
  • dealing with coronavirus stress

this and more can be found on the headspace website at the first link above, then click on “Information & support” in the top left of the home page.

The second link is to eheadspace. eheadspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends. If you’re based in Australia and going through a tough time, eheadspace can help. Here you can talk 1-on-1 with an eheadspace clinician via an online chat, email or over the phone. You can also join group chats which cover a variety of helpful topics and are a great way to learn from other people’s experiences. eheadspace is open 9am-1am 7 days a week.

Headspace: https://headspace.org.au/

eheadspace: https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/ phone: 1800 650 890

Kids Helpline

If you are looking for information about

  • dealing with coronavirus stress
  • mental health
  • identity
  • physical health
  • relationships and friends
  • family
  • school and work issues

This and more can be found on the Kids Helpline website at the link above, then click on the big “Enter!” button under ‘teens’ in the middle of the home page.
Kids Helpline also provides free and confidential phone and online counselling for people aged between 5 and 25. Kids Helpline is open 24/7. Just click on the “WebChat with Us” button or phone them.

Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au/ phone: 1800 55 1800

Paretline

Parentline is a useful phone service for parents looking for advice or support regarding parenting children of all ages.

  • In Victoria, Parentline can be reached on 13 22 89 from 8am to midnight 7 days a week
  • NSW Parentline can be reached on 1300 1300 52 from 9am to 9pm weekdays, and 4pm to 9pm on weekends

Lifeline

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Their website has information on a range of topics, in their ‘Facts & Information’ section. They offer 24/7 telephone counselling, crisis support web chat from 7pm to midnight, and lifeline text from 6pm to midnight, all of which can be accessed through their website.

Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/ phone: 13 11 14

ReachOut

If you are looking for information about

  • dealing with coronavirus stress
  • mental health
  • relationships
  • gender
  • study stress
  • time management

This and more can be found on the home page of the ReachOut website.
The ReachOut website also offers you the chance to click to “join the discussion” in their ReachOut Forums, as well as having a list of some really cool apps about mental health and wellbeing in their “Tools and apps” section.

ReachOut: https://au.reachout.com/

Beyond Blue / Healthy Families

Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. You can phone Beyond Blue, chat to them online, email them, or engage in their online forums, all of which can be found at the first link above (“Beyond Blue”). They also have really interesting information on their website about a range of mental health struggles, including about ‘looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak’.

Healthy Families is a special part of Beyond Blue that is specifically for family members of young people and teenagers. Healthy Families is all about giving parents, carers, grandparents, uncles, aunties, etc. the information, knowledge and confidence to support the young people in their life. Healthy Families is also here to help these adults take care of their own mental health and wellbeing, especially if they’re a new parent or about to become one.

Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ phone: 1300 22 4636 – this number is open 24/7
Healthy Families: https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/

1800 RESPECT

1800 RESPECT is a confidential service offering counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. It is open 24/7 for web chat or telephone chat, and has a link to help you find services in your area. The website also has information to help you find out what sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic and family violence actually are, and how to support either yourself or others who you think might be going through this.

1800 RESPECT: https://www.1800respect.org.au/ phone: 1800 737 732

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health has links to wellbeing support in a wide range of languages. Please use this website if you would prefer to be able to access support resources in a language other than English.

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health: https://www.mhima.org.au/

Qlife

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. They offer webchat through their website, as well as free telephone chat. Both telephone and web chat are available from 3pm to midnight, 7 days a week.

Qlife: https://www.qlife.org.au/ phone: 1800 184 527

Recovery Hub

The Recovery Hub is run by Albury Wodonga Health and contains many activities, articles, and practical resources which they hope provide choice, encourage hope and inspire you to improve your health, wellness and live a positive lifestyle. Their website contains information on

  • emotions and regulating emotions
  • self help
  • mindfulness
  • relationships and friendships
  • stress
  • anger
  • self esteem
  • parenting

Recovery Hub: http://www.recovery.awh.org.au/

Butterfly Foundation

The Butterfly Foundation provides support for eating disorders and body image issues. Their website offers a range of information about Eating Disorders, support groups, recovery programs, treatment, and understanding eating disorders. There is information on this site for people who are worried about themselves or someone else potentially struggling with an eating disorder. The Butterfly Foundation offers online chat through their website, email support and telephone support, from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.

Butterfly Foundation: https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/ phone: 1800 33 4673 email: support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Lifeline

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Their website has information on a range of topics, in their ‘Facts & Information’ section. They offer 24/7 telephone counselling, crisis support web chat from 7pm to midnight, and lifeline text from 6pm to midnight, all of which can be accessed through their website.

Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/ phone: 13 11 14

Kids Helpline

If you are looking for information about:

  • dealing with coronavirus stress
  • mental health
  • identity
  • physical health
  • relationships and friends
  • family
  • school and work issues

This and more can be found on the Kids Helpline website at the link above, then click on the big “Enter!” button under ‘teens’ in the middle of the home page.
Kids Helpline also provides free and confidential phone and online counselling for people aged between 5 and 25. Kids Helpline is open 24/7. Just click on the “WebChat with Us” button or phone them.
Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au/ phone: 1800 55 1800

Suicide Call Back Service

Suicide Call Back Service is a nationwide service that provides professional telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. This includes:

  • people who are feeling suicidal
  • people who are worried about someone else feeling suicidal
  • or people who have lost someone to suicide.

Suicide Call Back Service is open 24/7 and they offer online chat and video chat, both through their website, as well as telephone chat. All staff on their telephone or online counselling services are qualified professional counsellors, social workers or psychologists.

Suicide Call Back Service: https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/ phone: 1300 659 467

Mental Health Triage (Victoria)

Albury Wodonga Health have a 24 hour triage service for urgent mental health crises that need immediate attention. If you cannot get through to them and you are feeling suicidal, please call one of the other crisis numbers here or attend your local hospital’s Emergency Department.

Mental Health Triage (Victoria): 1300 881 104

Mental Health Triage (NSW) – AccessLine

Albury Wodonga Health have a 24 hour triage service for urgent mental health crises that need immediate attention. If you cannot get through to them and you are feeling suicidal, please call one of the other crisis numbers here or attend your local hospital’s Emergency Department. Residents of NSW who wish to access a mental health service shoould contact the Greater Southern accessline on 1800 800 944.

Mental Health Triage (NSW) – AccessLine: 1800 800 944

Emergency Homelessness (NSW)

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness:

  • For emergency accommodation and support services call Link2home on 1800 152 152, any day at any time.
  • For overnight accommodation if you are homeless call Link2home on 1800 152 152, any day at any time.
  • For women in need of temporary accommodation because of domestic violence call the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day); or visit the Domestic Violence website.
  • For young people (people under 18 years) seeking emergency accommodation, call Link2Home on 1800 152 152 or get advice from “Ask Izzy”.
  • For general enquiries about housing assistance visit NSW FACS Housing or call 1800 422 322 (7 days, 24 hours).
  • For people who need an interpreter call 1300 651 500 for Multicultural NSW Interpreting & Translation Service. Online bookings can also be made.

Resources in other languages – EAL

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health has links to wellbeing support in a wide range of languages. Please use this website if you would prefer to be able to access support resources in a language other than English.

In an emergency, always phone 000

IN THE EVENT OF SCHOOL TRANSITION TO REMOTE LEARNING DUE TO COVID-19

If our school transfers to online learning due to school closures, please note that all student wellbeing services will continue during school hours. Teachers, parents or carers who are worried about a student’s wellbeing can still contact House Leaders to discuss their concerns, by phoning the school on 0260437500.

Students who wish to self-refer to wellbeing can still email wellbeing@wssc.vic.edu.au, and your email will be received during school hours.

Students who are already engaged with wellbeing can communicate with their allocated worker during school hours by email, text or phone call, as well as possibly setting up face-to-face meetings using Microsoft Teams which has been installed on all staff and student school computers (this is what we used for parent teacher interviews in term 1 and it worked really well).

This might be a confusing and anxious time for a lot of people, so please do have a look at the “Online and Phone wellbeing supports” section above, and contact the school if you need further support. There is also a coping with COVID 19 tip sheet from headspace which you might find useful.

Please note that even if we are working online, school wellbeing support will continue to only be available during school hours.

Please see “Online and Phone wellbeing supports” section above, and always call 000 in an emergency.

 

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