Freeze out tough times

COOL PLACE TO BE: McCarthy Catholic College launched ‘The Freezer’ space for mental wellbeing and resilience yesterday with Isobel Paff, school counsellor Clarissa Veil, Kylie Pursche from Healthy School Healthy Futures, student welfare worker Lesley O’Shea, principal Kate Rayment, Breanna Fox, Rohan Hughes, Jaymie Clarke and Amy Devrell from headspace. 
Photo: Barry Smith 270814BSB01

COOL PLACE TO BE: McCarthy Catholic College launched ‘The Freezer’ space for mental wellbeing and resilience yesterday with Isobel Paff, school counsellor Clarissa Veil, Kylie Pursche from Healthy School Healthy Futures, student welfare worker Lesley O’Shea, principal Kate Rayment, Breanna Fox, Rohan Hughes, Jaymie Clarke and Amy Devrell from headspace. Photo: Barry Smith 270814BSB01

THE most chilled-out place on campus at McCarthy Catholic School is aptly named “The Freezer”, a space where students can learn more about mental wellbeing and resilience. 

The student-designed space will be stocked with iPad apps, online resources, games, as well as a renovated fridge chocked-full of books and DVDs to help young people tackle difficult situations during their school years. 

Student Jaymie Clarke said the fridge was symbolic, and in many ways “a lot like a person”. 

“It’s not what’s on the outside that’s important, it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” he said. 

Fellow student Lauren Hutchinson said the space would be helpful for students having a bad day and that being involved in the project had taught her how to look out for others. 

“If they’re feeling isolated or there’s not much expression in their face and it looks like something might be wrong, or something might be troubling them, you should go up to them and say: ‘Hey, are you OK?’”

McCarthy counsellor Tamara Shoemark kicked off the project after seeing the successful Mindzone initiative developed by Hunter New England Health’s mental health promotion service.

“Learning about resilience can also provide students with strategies to bounce back in tough times and helps to prevent mental health problems from developing,” Ms Shoemark said. 

The Freezer will be a space for all students to take time out and relax if they are stressed by the pressures of high school.

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