In our world today, we know that mental health is a critical component in the overall health of a young person. Unfortunately, we are seeing young people increasingly struggle in this area:
- 1 in 4 adolescents will experience mental health problems this year
- 1 in 7 primary school students will experience mental health problems this year
- Mental Health Disorders carry the largest burden of disease for 15 – 24-year olds
- Suicide is the most common cause of death for 15 – 24-year olds
- 1 in 5 adults will experience mental health problems this year
- 65% of adolescents will not seek help
In 2021, Whitefriars College will enter a partnership with The Resilience Project in order to help students develop the skills, strategies and mindset so that their wellbeing and mental health can flourish. The Resilience Project is a Wellbeing Program with a rich curriculum based on 4 key themes: Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy. Throughout the Whitefriars weekly Wellbeing Program, students will be taught to focus on the positive aspects of their lives with a spirit of being grateful. They will also learn to understand others, to feel and see what they do and practice being kind and compassionate to each other. The Resilience Project also teaches young people to be calm and present in any given moment and to understand their own emotions to better manage them.
This evidence-based program is an exciting new initiative so that we can continue our mission of creating gentle men who are compassionate, people of integrity and the best versions of themselves. As well as a weekly lesson delivered by Whitefriars staff, the program will also involve student, staff and parent presentations by Martin Heppell, a member of The Resilience Project Team, so that we are taking a whole school approach to wellbeing. The language and practices of gratitude, empathy, mindfulness and emotional literacy need to permeate all aspect of College life. Parents are also encouraged to be involved in this wellbeing journey and discuss and practice at home these key themes with their sons and with a rich source of information through the TRP@Home website. Further information regarding these presentations will be distributed at the beginning of the new academic year.
I wish all members of the Whitefriars family a safe, holy and enjoyable Christmas break; I thank you for your support and I look forward to the next chapter as we all share in the Whitefriars journey together.
Mr Mick Lafferty
Deputy Principal – Students