This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week at Avondale College. Deputy Head Girl Emily O'Callaghan, who has organised this initiative, spoke at the school assemblies on Monday to let the students know more.
"You matter. You may be wondering why I said that. For many of us, life feels like just one long struggle. There’s always yet another assignment, yet another deadline and yet another exam. Let alone peer pressure, family pressure, work pressure and the pressures of merely growing up. Some of us cope with these pressures – or appear to. For others, these pressures become daily mountains to climb. We, as humans, are well adapted to concealing the pressures in our lives, our doubts, our fears and our insecurities. However, in the pursuit of a poker face, we have stumbled upon our greatest weakness – not starting the conversation about what goes on in here (gestures to head). I’m here today to start that conversation. You matter. We all have mental health. Just as we all have physical health. But too often we choose to ignore our mental well-being. I’m here talking to you as a Safe School Leader. But I’m also standing here as a student just like you. Perhaps like me, you too have family members or friends experiencing mental health issues. Or you may be experiencing them directly for yourself. You matter. That is why I am excited to announce and to be part of Avondale College’s first ever Mental Health Awareness Week."
While the move to Alert Level 3 has unfortunately meant the activities planned for the second part of the week have had to be put on hold for now, students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the staff v prefects basketball match that was held in the gym on Tuesday lunchtime! The stadium was packed with supporters cheering on both sides, and the atmosphere was fantastic. Winning the kudos and the victory this year was... the teachers: 25-22!
Thanks to all who supported the event by playing or cheering - and especially to all those who donated coins as they entered. These proceeds will be going to the work of the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation.