The Wellbeing Team at St Mary MacKillop College
Mandy McCallum – Director of Wellbeing
Jorgie Allen – Student Counsellor
Gemma Phelan – Student Counsellor
St Mary MacKillop College promotes a whole school approach to wellbeing, with all members of staff working to actively construct an environment and experiences that promotes and engages the positive capacity in all of our students. The Wellbeing team at St Mary MacKillop College is an integral part of this approach providing both proactive and reactive responses to the wellbeing needs of our community.
In a proactive sense the Wellbeing team undertakes the important role of raising awareness and understanding around the issues that impact on wellbeing. It is through ensuring our students have suitable knowledge and strategies available to them, that we can have greater confidence in their ability to deal with the social and emotional challenges that life throws up. We utilise many different resources to fulfil this role including the local police and health services, visiting presenters, Mind Matters and many more.
Whilst at a reactive level, important structures exist within the school to ensure support is available for students when things aren’t necessarily so good. These include our House System which links students to a specific Homeroom Teacher and House Leader and our counselling and referral services.
Students are referred to our counsellors for many reasons ranging from individual self esteem, family circumstances, and peer relationships through to serious mental health issues.
Referrals to Jorgie and Gemma most often occur when a staff member has concerns for a particular student, sometimes this may be due to a specific incident, but it often results from a noticeable change in a student’s behaviour, attitude, attendance etc. Referrals also come through student self or peer referral and occasionally as a result of a parent request made to a House Leader. All referrals are welcome and encouraged. Some issues are resolved quickly, whilst others require ongoing intervention and possibly even referral out to a more specialised support provider. What is important to remember is that the earlier action is taken, quite often the easier the resolution.