Wellbeing at Whitefriars

Resilience is a quality Whitefriars is committed to developing in our young men. We feel our partnership with The Resilience Project in developing gratitude, empathy and mindfulness will assist them in developing the skills and attitudes to cope with life’s challenges.

Students recently completed the Youth Resilience Survey. This online survey gathered information from our boys at a cohort level in terms of their strengths, life satisfaction, hopefulness, anxiety, and depression, coping style, and risk and protective behaviours. Specifically, the survey measured the resilience and wellbeing of your young people across 9 key domains: Understanding Self, Social Skills, Positive Relationships, Safety, Healthy Body and Healthy Mind, Learning, Positive Attitude, Positive Values, Positive Identity.

From the results, we have some wonderful things to celebrate as a school and community (purple figure is Whitefriars and the black figure is the Australian norm for males; year levels at the base of the graph). For example, our boys feel safe at school, are involved in the broad opportunities the College offers which is a reflection of their engagement at school and they have a significant adult in their life they who is a good example for them.

However, we still understand that there is so much more we can do working in partnership with parents to assist and support our boys become the best that they can be. Boys are reluctant ‘talkers’ and the results below support this. Boys tend to bottle things up which can have a significant impact on their mental health. They are also still spending a significant amount of time on their phones which would clearly be impacting their sleep patterns.

There was one question in the survey which asked for students to comment: ‘If you could magically do anything, what is one thing that you would do to support the wellbeing of young people?’ In three very simple yet insightful words, one fascinating response from a Middle Years student was, ‘A forget pill.’ Maybe he is onto something. If only we could move on more effectively, learn from our mistakes, put them behind us and not dwell on the past, we might be a bit better off. Other students provided  comments which, if we all took on board in our own lives, the world would be a better place: ‘Reach out to others more’, ‘Give them support and a place to feel safe’, ‘Make it ok to speak up’, ‘Give them someone to talk to’ and ‘Teach them how to make themselves happy’.

In partnership with our families, we will continue to find ways to support, nurture and guide our young men to be happy, resilient, and kind – true gentle men.

Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students