At Gisborne Secondary College we aim to provide a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for students and their families. We place a high priority on the wellbeing of all members within the school community. We understand the relationship between wellbeing and student outcomes, and take an integrated approach to wellbeing. All staff play an important role in the wellbeing and this includes: mentors, classroom teachers, year level leaders and principal class.
All Gisborne Secondary College Staff are committed and enforce “Child Safe Standards”.
There can be factors which will impact on a student’s capacity to engage in their learning, the Wellbeing can provide support to both students and families during these times. We also provide preventative supports for teachers through curriculum and professional development and for students and their families. We work closely with Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) team and the Careers team.
We have a dedicated Wellbeing Team to support wellbeing practices throughout the school.
The Wellbeing Team
Belinda O’Meara: Student Wellbeing Leader
I co-ordinate the Wellbeing Team and work to promote school wide wellbeing initiatives, including working closely with students, families and carers. This includes connecting students and families with external and community supports. The Student Wellbeing Leader is part of and works within the College Leadership team to maintain wellbeing support throughout the College.
Greg Neale: School Counsellor/Creative Arts Therapist
I have been working with young people for 22 years as both a teacher and therapist. In my role as School Counsellor/Creative Arts Therapist. My role consists of both mental health support, facilitating group therapy sessions, and delivering structured Art Therapy sessions to students on an ongoing basis as part of a collaborative plans with Psychologist/Mental Health Care Professionals. My role also involves assessing students’ level of mental health risk and working with families, carers, and professionals in the development of safety plans, referrals and the ongoing monitoring of their wellbeing. I have years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families around issues of, isolation, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, anger, separation, addiction and general mental health.
Bridget Downey: Wellbeing Intake/School Counsellor
My role includes the day to day management of the wellbeing space. I am usually the first contact students and staff make when they enter wellbeing, and work with my colleagues to provide a safe space for all. I also take on a counselling role with students, using a strength-based approach. I work with them to improve all aspects of their wellbeing.
Kirsty Warren: Mental Health Practitioner
I am a social worker who has been working with young people in various capacities since 2000. I have extensive experience in working in a secondary school setting and have a strong understanding of emotional wellbeing concerns in adolescents. My role as Mental Health Practitioner is to work collaboratively with the wellbeing team members in advocating and supporting young people around their emotional wellbeing. This includes providing direct counselling to students as well as working closely with staff, families and external organisations to promote and provide better wellbeing outcomes for students at our school.
Tino Guzman: External Counsellor (AOD)
I am a Counsellor with training in several psychological approaches and these experiences has influenced me in choosing a flexible way of collaborating with my clients. Specifically, this means that I am always focus on assisting the client to find her/his own solutions or ways to deal with challenges at various stages of their lives. I am very happy to be working at schools and I aspire to be a positive influence on young people during this crucial time in their development.
Lauren Ryan: Psychologist
Lauren Ryan is a visiting Psychologist that provides specific support through one on one counselling. Lauren is a Psychologist with a special interest in youth, and has extensive experience working in schools with young people. Students are able to access the psychologist through a Mental Health Care Plan and through the Medicare rebate system there is no cost to families. Lauren attends GSC on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
All services provided by Student Wellbeing are voluntary – which means students can choose if they wish to participate or attend a service and are able to withdraw from the service at any time. Referrals to the team can occur in three ways:
- Student referrals: Students can refer themselves by coming into wellbeing or by messaging us through the school portal and asking for an appointment time to speak with one of our team members.
- Staff referrals: Staff members can make referrals to the wellbeing team about students they have concerns about either directly or through the Year Level Coordinators.
- Parent/Guardian referrals: Parents/Guardians can make referrals for their children through contacting a member of the wellbeing team directly or by contacting their child’s year level coordinator and voicing their concerns.
We provide short-medium term support, and the team offers a referral service to other support services if required.
The Wellbeing Team support is free and confidential which means anything you talk to us about will not be discussed without your permission. Should you be in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, then we are mandated to inform your primary carer and the Principal.
Where possible and with student consent, we work with families. However, there may be times where informing the family may put the student at risk, so wellbeing staff use professional judgement when making a decision to inform families of the students accessing our service.
We work hard to support our students and we recognise that families are one of the key supports for many young people. We always seek the permission of students and encourage them to discuss their concerns with their families, although some students find this extremely difficult.
The college runs and supports many programs/groups which focus on students’ health and wellbeing. We have Wellbeing School Captains, who also work closely with the SRC to provide student input to programs and processes which are relevant for the student population group at a given time.
- Respectful Relationships
- Pride Crew
- Peer Support – Year 11 students supporting Year 7 students, enabling them to feel comfortable and confident in their transition from Primary to Secondary.
- Live4Life – Run through the Macedon Ranges Shire Council, directed at year 8 students.
- Mental Health First Aid – Run through the Macedon Ranges shire council, ran with Year 11 students.
- Lunchtime groups – Art Therapy, Ukulele (student choice)
Gisborne Secondary College is a Safe School* since 2010. We believe that everyone has the right to feel comfortable being themselves regardless of sexuality or race. Gisborne Secondary College runs a Pride Crew which meet every second Tuesday in the Wellbeing Group Space. This allows young people who identify as, or which to support those, who are LGBTQI to come together.
* Safe School reference link
Contacting the GSC wellbeing team
Phone: 5428 3691
Send a message to us on the XUNO Portal, to the account called ‘Wellbeing.’
We welcome feedback about our Wellbeing Service and like to be responsive to the needs of our school community. We encourage you to contact us directly with any concerns or suggestions.