College – Issue 39

CHARACTER, WELLBEING & POSITIVE EDUCATION Wellbeing team – supporting our boys

The Wellbeing team at College is composed of clinical psychologist Dr Sarah Anticich, child and family psychologist Emily Baird, and Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education John Quinn. The team works closely with nurses Nicki Taylor and Kaye McKenzie in the Health Centre, as well as Housemasters and House and teaching staff. The strategic focus on health and wellbeing has really gained momentum this year. Asking for help is a strength we want to grow in our young men, as in times of trouble, accessing people who can support you is of vital importance. Those people do not always have to be professionals, but building a support team that can swing into action and be there when you are struggling, is a strong foundation for wellbeing. College is lucky to have dedicated staff – from Housemasters to mentors and teaching staff – who support our young men to build resilience. Over the last few months, the team has seen an increase in boys presenting with issues such as anxiety or feeling overwhelmed, as the impact of Covid-19 and the uncertainty surrounding that takes its toll. The analogy we use is that of holding a glass of water. The glass of water is light at the start, but if you continue to walk around holding a glass of the same weight it will eventually feel heavy and

weigh you down. College students are generally very busy young men, as they try to take advantage of all the opportunities the school makes available for them. We must ensure we support them and help them find a balance, so they can flourish and not flounder as they try and fit everything in. A busy boy is not always a happy boy. This is something parents need to be aware of when communicating with their sons. Don’t always accept “okay” as being okay. Many of our young men find it hard to verbalise how they feel; it is easier to simply say okay. We encourage you to spend time with your sons and dig deeper to see how they are going. Perhaps take your son on a “date” to check in with them? One-to-one time is an important way to build relationships and grow affection, understanding and respect. We know many boys feel a sense of pressure in the face of the

high expectations placed on them at College by their parents, teachers, and even themselves. It is not about removing these expectations, because managing pressure and expectations is a necessary life skill; but it is important that we support them as they learn how to manage and that we take the time to talk, to hear how they are going and make sure we validate their thoughts and feelings.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and this is an

important message for the College community. We need to all work together to ensure our young men’s experience of College is challenging yet enjoyable, supportive and inspirational. There are exciting changes to come in 2021 – seeing further enhancements and development of the health and wellbeing programme.

Christ’s College Canterbury


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