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Mentally Healthy School in Profile: Mount Lawley Senior High School

Posted 8 Jul 2019

Mount Lawley Senior High School joined the Mentally Healthy Schools Program in 2014 as we were keen to promote and raise awareness of the importance of good mental health in our school.

We wanted to take a whole school approach and work with a program that was recognised, accessible and credible with ALL members of the school community, regardless of background, age or ethnicity.

The first step was to establish a Student Wellbeing Committee to help drive the Act-Belong-Commit message within the school community. This committee is student driven with guidance and support from the Healthy Active Coordinator. This group arranged lunchtime activities, information stands and promotions for mental health days and they encouraged involvement of all year groups.

We promoted the Act-Belong-Commit message in assemblies, newsletters and on social media. We also presented Act-Belong-Commit prizes for involvement, volunteering, random acts of kindness and generally embodying the Act-Belong-Commit principles. Year 7 students took a whole term to focus on the program and follow the lessons and activities worksheets to promote positive mental health and Act-Belong-Commit.

We also provided staff with similar opportunities to boost their mental health and wellbeing through staff competitions, health newsletters and mental health promotions, and established a fortnightly “Act-Belong-Commit” Coffee Club as an informal way for parents to get involved with the school and help with events like Year 7 orientation and the second-hand uniform sales.

This partnership has been the catalyst to focus on mental health within our school community.

A partnership with such a large campaign has been incredibly positive for our school. The resources, and support we have received has been exceptional and ensured that this program and the importance of good mental health can be promoted easily into the school community. Our students have really embraced the importance of mental health and the Act-Belong-Commit Mentally Healthy Schools Program.

Suzie Barnes, Healthy Active Coordinator

Mount Lawley Senior High School