Home / Students & Parents / Student Support & Wellbeing

 

All of our teachers and house leaders play a really proactive role in building relationships with students. On every campus the have case managers within the wellbeing teams and they work very hard to build relationships with community services and agencies to support our students. The case managers receive referrals from the house leaders and we then try and build the relationships between staff and students before it comes to the wellbeing team. The wellbeing team work predominantly with the students and they families who need to be supported within the community and with government agencies, so we act as that link between collage. We are an inclusive college and we support students from different cultures and we have a unique team to support all students.

Wellbeing Support for Students and Families

We know too well that the effects of COVID-19, social isolation/restrictions and online learning can leave us feeling overwhelmed, worried, fearful and anxious (not to mention a host of other symptoms listed below). Under ‘normal’ conditions (ie. before the impacts of COVID-19), young people tended to try to manage their strong feelings and emotions by using a variety of distractions such as cramming as much into their lives as possible, engaging in a variety of daily activities, juggling sports, having a social life, social media, work, running to a schedule, family disruptions, as well as just having everyday issues, all of which add to emotional stress. With most of these ‘distractions’ unavailable in our current world, our concern is that young people can adopt unhealthy ways of coping with stress, worry and fear. While adults are more likely to recognise signs of stress within themselves, sometimes young people may miss or overlook these important signs which can lead to feelings of sadness, anger, overwhelmed, not coping, anger and frustration. They could even find it hard to tell someone how they are feeling, particularly if they are embarrassed or worried about causing stress or burden to their parent/carer who may also be under stress. As a parent/carer this is concerning in itself, however, one of the best strategies as a parent/carer if you are concerned about your kids, is to look out for one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Losing interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Not eating or sleeping well
  • Wanting to be alone/avoiding friends and family
  • Daydreaming
  • Procrastinating
  • Disengaging from school community and school work
  • Feeling guilty or not worthy
  • Showing extreme emotions – anger/sadness (overreacting)
  • Worrying constantly about appearance
  • Feelings of being afraid
  • Constant headaches/stomach aches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Withdrawing from peers
  • Inability to concentrate well or make decisions
  • Turning to drugs/alcohol
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Over exercising (obsessive)
  • Taking risks
  • Struggling to get up in the morning
  • Feeling overwhelmed

All of the above are signs that something is not going so well and they may need support around better ways to manage stress, fear and worry. Perhaps a listening ear as well as having the support that allows them to take time out to learn new coping strategies and/or undertake stress reducing activities. If left unattended and the stress continues over a long period of time, studies have shown that brain chemistry can be affected possibly leading to depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide and complete withdrawal and loneliness. Also considering the ongoing changes to our usual daily routines under social restrictions and social distancing measures, we need to be in-tune with our teens, offering support and alternative ways of coping with stress and worry.

There are many different ways to help manage and cope with stress and to allow the mind and body to relax. This could be an activity like yoga, meditation, dancing, exercise, reading or listening to music. Or a quicker simpler method of a few minutes of deep breathing and breath awareness which is a fantastic way to relax the nervous system and calm the body and can be done almost anywhere!

If you suspect your teenager is experiencing stress, worry or fear which is impacting on their daily functioning and routine, it is important to speak with them about it, gently inquire and speak with them curiously about what you have noticed that is different or concerning. Try and work with your teen to identify the issue(s) and work together with the college if needed to lessen the burden of the stressor(s).

SAFEMind’s have created some Tip Sheets for families to help NOTICE and INQUIRE changes in their child’s behaviour, feelings and thinking.

Notice Tip Sheet for families

Inquire Tip Sheet for families

If you require support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s CARE Teacher, House Leader or Assistant Principal and request support. You and your child can access wellbeing and community service information via our ‘Wellbeing Course’ on D2L or by clicking on this link and logging in:
https://inspire.wmyc.vic.edu.au/d2l/home/10755

The Wellbeing Page on D2L has links to self-care strategies, calm down ideas, brain break ideas, apps, websites and and resilience project, as well as all the Wellbeing and Crisis Support Information described below.

*It is also important to remember to focus and give energy to what we can control, not what we can’t.

Sleep, Exercise and Good Diet

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.

Have a look at some strategies to help with sleep here

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.

Online Phone and Wellbeing Support

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.

Support and Information

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 below, 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 below, 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

Parentline

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 below (“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/
Healthy Families: https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/
Phone: 1300 224 636 – this number is open 24/7

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 web chat 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: 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, including; support groups, recovery programs, treatment and understanding eating disorders. There is information on this site for people who are worries 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 334 673
Email: support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Crisis Support


In an emergency, always phone ‘000’

 

 

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 below, 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
  • 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 should contact the Greater Southern AccessLine on 1800 800 944.

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

Emergency Homelessness (Victoria)

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, you can get help by calling 1800 825 955 (free call, 24 hours). A housing and support worker will take your call. They will refer you to help in your local area. If you call out of business hours, they will connect you to Salvation Army Crisis Services.

If you are escaping family violence, you can get help from the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre on 1800 015 188 (free call, 24 hours). The service will assess your safety needs. They will then arrange emergency or crisis accommodation if needed or link you with a local family violence support service.

Emergency Homelessness (Victoria): https://www.housing.vic.gov.au/crisis-emergency-contacts
Phone: 1800 825 955

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.


In an emergency, always phone ‘000’

 

 

School Based Wellbeing Supports

At WMYC, 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.

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

CARE Teachers

Every student has a CARE Teacher who they see twice a week. Your CARE Teacher is someone that can help you with issues around attendance, study goals and feeling like a part of the school community. Your CARE 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 CARE Teacher by emailing them directly.

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.

Doctors in School

Wodonga Senior Secondary College and Wodonga Middle Years College 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.

Text 0401 264 256 or email helen@federationclinic.com.au 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 WMYC. Your House Leaders are:

HUON

Gawungwa (Yellow) House Leaders

Sarah Laidlaw – Yellow House Leader

Gemma Grace – Yellow House Assistant

Email: YellowLeaders@wmyc.vic.edu.au

Wagarra (Blue) House Leaders

Hollie Rodomski – Blue House Leader

Jack Andrews – Blue House Assistant

Email: BlueLeaders@wmyc.vic.edu.au

FELLTIMBER

Wanumarru (Red) House Leaders

Prue Younie – Red House Leader

Jordan Wakling – Red House Assistant

Email: RedLeaders@wmyc.vic.edu.au

Nangwiya (Green) House Leaders

Blayne Nagle – Green House Leader

Kirstin Farquhar – Green House Assistant

Email: GreenLeaders@wmyc.vic.edu.au

*You can access your House Leader by emailing them directly.

Assistant Principals

There are four assistant principals at WMYC, and two of them have the job of overseeing student management and wellbeing. This means that they support 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:

Mr Tim Bridgeman – HUON

Mr Gary Hodge – FELLTIMBER

*You can access Mr Bridgeman or Mr Hodge by emailing them.

Defence School Mentor

Our Defence School Mentor, Anthony Nicholson, offers support to students whose parents are serving members of the Australian Defence Force. It is their role 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 mentors help 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.

School Nurse

Wodonga Middle Years College has an Adolescent Health Nurse (AHN) two days a week. One day on each campus.

The role of the AHN is to promote student and staff health and wellbeing. They work as part of the school wellbeing team to provide information and support on any health-related issues including mental health, relationships, alcohol and drug use, healthy eating, physical exercise, sexual health and online safety to name just a few.

How this is achieved can differ from school to school but generally speaking this can include assisting the health teachers in health lessons or hosting smaller student group work to compliment the health curriculum, organising school wide health promotion events and seeing students for one on one consultations about any health issues or questions they may wish to discuss. Furthermore, the AHN can also support families and carers of students who have health concerns about their child.

Wellbeing Case Managers

WMYC have a Wellbeing Case Manager at each campus. Their role is to help students and families to link with supports both inside and outside of the school to meet their needs.

Wellbeing Case Managers can help link students with supports for a range of issues including financial difficulties, mental health, physical health, family issues, grief and loss, safety concerns, sexual health and safety, and emotional health, among other things.

Wellbeing supports at WMYC 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 and their parents/carers can self-refer to Wellbeing by talking to a House Leader or Care Teacher. Please email them directly for support.

Rachel Watson – FELLTIMBER

Libby Blackmore – HUON

 

Who can help locally? – 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, accomodation and housing support, the Wodonga Youth Refuge, and other supports.

Victorian students and families can refer to Junction by calling their Intake Officer on 02 6043 7400, by emailing reception@junction.org.au, or by dropping in to their office at 155 Melbourne Road, Wodonga.

YES Unlimited (NSW)

YES Unlimited offers accomodation 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 02 6058 6200, by emailing admin@yesunlimited.com.au, or by dropping in to their office at The Hub, 562 Macauley Street, Albury.

Beyond Housing (Victoria)

Beyond Housing are a housing service in Wodonga. They are committed to addressing homelessness, supporting people in housing stress and increasing the supply of affordable housing. If you are facing homelessness, at risk of losing your private rental or need an affordable place to live, Beyond Housing can help.

Victorians 18 years old or older can contact Beyond Housing by phoning 02 6055 9000 or by dropping in to their office at 82 High Street, Wodonga.

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 need 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 02 6051 7900 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 02 6040 1200, or pop in to AWAHS at 664 Daniel Street, Glenroy.

In an emergency, always phone ‘000’

 

Self Care Tips

Around the world, there is currently a lot of uncertainty and panic around coronavirus (COVID-19). You and your family and friends may be feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. It is important to remember that this is a very normal response to stress and change. It is important to find and use self-care strategies at home as it is vital for your mental health and wellbeing. Learning about self-care can help you feel a little better and give you a sense of control during a very uncertain time.

Reach Out has created information of ten different Self Care strategies to try:

10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself During Coronavirus

Headspace have tips for a Healthy Headspace:

Tips for a Healthy Headspace

Helpful websites for information and support to assist your wellbeing:

Useful Websites for Wellbeing

Sometimes downloading and using an App can be helpful for our wellbeing:

Apps for your Wellbeing

Have you heard of grounding? It can be helpful to distract your mind when it is busy thinking about things we don’t want to think about:

Grounding

Grounding for Intense Emotions

 

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