Last week I had the privilege to share with our Junior School parents the structure and features of the URStrong program, which is a Wellbeing program utilised in the ELC to Year 6. URStrong is a program to explicitly teach the skills of friendships and relationships with an important focus on language. I am aware that a number of parents had hoped to attend but could not. I am grateful to Conor Kinsella from Keystone who recorded the session and this can be accessed through the following link.
During the session I discussed the term ‘help seeking behaviour’ and I wanted to expand on this further. Research has highlighted the challenges that we face in ensuring that young people seek help when faced with friendship or relationship issues, challenging behaviours or mental health issues. This is even more so for boys.
Changing the language used by the students from ‘dobbing’ or ‘snitching’ to ‘help seeking’ is an important aspect of our discussions with students. When someone behaves in a way that hurts us physically or mentally, it is important for us to realise that we need help with any negative emotions that we might be feeling, but that also the other person needs help in changing these behaviours.
Throughout our work with students we ask them to indicate who the 5 people are that they are comfortable talking to and seeking help from. It is important that we work in partnership with our community to provide the support needed for students, parents and staff to engage in these vital conversations.
Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration