Update from the Dean of Student Life and Wellbeing
As one of the ways we’re currently supporting students, our Year 6 through 12 boys completed a confidential wellbeing survey earlier today (note that participation was optional). Designed by Dr. Peggy Kern from the University of Pennsylvania, now an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, the survey is a well-respected measurement of youth wellbeing and is aligned with UCC’s Framework for Wellbeing. The tool consists of 20 “single-click” questions related to five dimensions: engagement, perseverance, optimism, connectedness and happiness. These same questions were asked in the wellbeing survey the boys completed last year, so we’ll be able to compare their levels of wellbeing in these dimensions across two different time periods. Open-ended questions, specific to home isolation were also included as were questions about accessing support for mental health and wellbeing. Survey data will help inform our approach to further supporting the boys. More information is available here.
The Health Centre remains committed to responding to the social/emotional needs of individual students including support for mental health and wellbeing. The Health Centre also provides advice and support to members of the UCC community regarding health and wellbeing.
In addition to providing individual confidential online counselling, the Health Centre personnel are moving support groups to an online format. Group sessions of this nature have been a key feature of our wellbeing network of support for many years, providing a forum for connection, and facilitating discussion for boys who may be experiencing similar challenges in their lives. These confidential groups include LGTBQ+, substance use, anxiety and Boarding specific groups at the Upper school and drop in groups at the Prep.
Please feel free to contact the Health Centre at email@example.com or your son’s adviser with any questions.
It was exciting to see the Prep boys’ photo and video entries for last week’s “Cook a Meal for Your Family” challenge. This week’s Wellbeing Challenge asks students to consider the impact of nature on wellbeing while respecting social distancing mandates. Thanks to Mr. Evans, from Norval, for contributing this week’s “Outdoor Challenge”. Advising sessions at the Upper School this week for the younger boys have focused on how we spend our time online – for better or worse. The older boys were asked to consider how we might maintain perspective and try to make sense of our range of emotions during times of hardship. This New York Times article was used as a resource for the discussion: On Coronavirus Lockdown? Look for Meaning not Happiness.
I have enjoyed attending the Prep virtual assemblies and look forward to the athletic assemblies scheduled for tomorrow. At the Upper School, over 55 clubs are running online and our Arts Captains did a wonderful job of hosting our final Arts Assembly of the year. The Year 12 Art Exhibition also transitioned to the virtual realm. Kudos to all of our artists, who have reminded us this week about the deep connection between the arts and wellbeing.
Thanks for reading,