High School Wellbeing Workshops

High School Wellbeing Workshops kick-off in Victoria

The High School Wellbeing Workshop (HSWW) is an initiative of the GPSN National Working Group under the Community Health Domain.

The program commenced in Queensland in 2013 and was expanded to Victoria in 2020 but was unfortunately impacted by the pandemic.

GPSN VIC Working Group Committee members have been working hard since the beginning of 2021 to organise the workshop for delivery throughout this year. The workshop aims to promote positive and healthy mindsets as students deal with increasing pressures both at school and at home.

During the workshop we engage the students in a variety of activities to deliver messages about the importance of self-care and how to identify signs of excessive stress and burnout. One of the activities includes a short breathing exercise as an introduction to mindfulness.

The GPSN VIC HSWW committee has recruited close to 30 medical student volunteers to assist in the delivery of the workshop. We conducted training for the volunteers in late March to introduce the presentation and the role of workshop facilitator.

In April 2021 we delivered HSWWs to two high schools, reaching almost 250 students! This number will increase as we have more workshops scheduled. You can read a wrap-up of both workshops below.

The GPSN Victoria committee is actively looking for more high schools interested in hosting a HSWW. Please get in touch via wgo@gpsn.org.au if you feel the HSWW would benefit a high school in your area.

VIC High School Wellbeing Workshop goes to Bendigo

Ryan Buhagiar (MDY1 Deakin), GPSN VIC Working Group Committee

On Wednesday 21 April 2021, myself and Edward Meehan (MDY5 Monash) delivered the first VIC HSWW of 2021 to VCE students from Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, Victoria.

We both felt extremely fortunate to be able to deliver the workshop in-person to a packed lecture theatre of over 90 Girton Year 12 students. The enthusiastic participation and thoughtful responses provided by the students was extremely encouraging as we presented the material for the first time.

We felt it was a rewarding experience for both the students and ourselves. Particularly during a lengthy discussion on the role of positive self-talk in managing stressful situations. We also identified several areas where we can improve the material and our delivery for future workshops.

The GPSN VIC committee remains committed to delivering the HSWW to more schools throughout Victoria during 2021 and already have some future workshops scheduled. We are actively looking for more high schools to expand the delivery of the workshop. Please get in touch if you feel the HSWW would be of benefit to local high schools in your area.

High School Wellbeing Workshop at Killester College in Springvale

Rebecca Martin, Working Group Representative of Monash GPSN

On 23 April 2021, myself, Harry and Joydeep had the privilege of visiting Killester College in Springvale to deliver our High School Wellbeing Workshop as part of the Community Domain of GPSN.

We spoke with half their year 12 cohort of approximately 75 students during one of their free periods. We were pleasantly surprised and impressed that after a shy start, the students starting to not only share within their small groups but also participate in larger group discussions

The theatrette was a fantastic space for the workshop, as it allowed the students to find some personal space to participate in some mindfulness and mediation activities. The students enthusiastically participated in and enjoyed the final symbolic activity of leaving ‘their stress at the door’ by throwing out a sticky note of their current stresses they brainstormed at the start of the workshop.

We received some highly valuable feedback and gratitude from their year 12 teachers and Assistant Principal. In a fortnight, GPSN looks forward to returning to Killester College to speak with the other half of their year 12 cohort.

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