Wellbeing Hub News Term 1 Week 3 2024

Thursday, 08 Feb 2024

Barkley: The Wellbeing Dog at Bishop Druitt College

Barkley, the Labradoodle, has become a cherished part of Bishop Druitt College. As part of The Dogs Connect Program, he supports the mental health and emotional wellbeing of students, staff, and parents. Beyond companionship, Barkley participates in wellbeing programs, providing comfort during stressful times like exams. His presence promotes calmness, reduces stress, and fosters a positive atmosphere. Integrating Barkley into school initiatives reflects a commitment to holistic education, prioritising the happiness of all community members. With Barkley, Bishop Druitt College embraces empathy, compassion, and connection, recognising the profound impact of a furry friend on wellbeing.

The Wellbeing Barometer 2024

The Wellbeing Barometer survey has proven to be an invaluable tool for schools, providing insights into the state of youth mental health and wellbeing. Whilst last year’s results focussed the spotlight on areas of concern, there were also many highlights that demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of students and emphasised the necessity of prevention strategies.

Participating in this year's survey, will assist in identifying areas of strength and concern, as well as pinpointing opportunities for early intervention. Previously gathered information has helped support families as they navigate difficult conversations that enable understanding and foster connections to build relationships.

This survey is part of an ongoing, longitudinal study, with the results being instrumental in tailoring support for students and their families. Participation is strongly encouraged, as it provides a comprehensive view of students' experiences, challenges, and achievements over the past year. Its aim is to capture a comprehensive picture of young people's lives, allowing for a tailored approach to enhance mental and emotional wellbeing.

We encourage you to take a few moments to complete a survey for each of your children. This will help us determine the nature and extent of your concerns and how best to support families in the months ahead. Responses remain anonymous and will only be reported on an aggregated basis. You are asked to base your responses on observations made in the last 12 months.

Acquiring the skills for future independence, taking healthy risks, and giving young people the opportunity to emancipate from parents, are key developmental tasks that are essential if we are to stave off the impact of mental illness in the future. Please reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you or your child, please reach out to the school or seek professional medical advice.

Here is the link to your special report https://bdc.nsw.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-wellbeing-barometer-2024-au


Bishop Druitt College, like many other schools, has seen a recent spike in young people vaping.

E-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’, are not safe for young people. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be hard to spot as they can look like everyday items including highlighters, pens or USB memory sticks.

Key vaping facts

· Many vapes contain nicotine. Nicotine can cause long-lasting negative effects on young people’s brain development, including impaired learning ability and altered mood, and can increase the risk of depression and anxiety.

· Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray, which can lead to serious lung diseases.

· Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to take up smoking cigarettes.

The laws around selling vapes

It is illegal to sell vapes to anyone under the age of 18 years. Young people often purchase vapes online, from retail stores, or from friends and contacts on social media. You can report suspected illegal sales of vapes to NSW Health or by calling the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412.

Talk to your child about vaping

It’s important to take the time to talk to your child about the risks of vaping. Try to start the conversation in a relaxed easy-going way, and remember your goal is to have a conversation, not deliver a lecture. Importantly, get the facts at: www.health.nsw.gov.au/vaping