The school welfare team welcomed two new full-time counsellors this year, increasing the support available to students in both Junior and Secondary School.
Rebecca Mitchell joins the school from the Department of Communities and Justice (DJC). Rebecca majored in Psychology at the University of Wollongong and completed both a diploma and advanced diploma in Christian Counselling. She is married with two children and says that they like spending time outdoors, often watching or playing soccer and cricket and going for walks. She also enjoys reading and good coffee.
“I would like all students to know that we are here to help,” Rebecca said.
“We really want to make a difference and help kids to express how they are feeling.
“I’ve always been drawn to helping people. I really see the value in building relationships and the impact that it has on someone's well being. I’ve seen that in my life too and that really impacted me and my journey to becoming a counsellor,” she said.
Nathan Green studied Social Work and Criminology at the University of New South Wales. He has worked as a disability support worker and has completed social work placements with DJC and in a hospital intensive care unit where he helped children and families to deal with grief.
“My hope is that every student would feel comfortable to be able to talk to someone about their anxiety or whatever is going on for them. We want to try to reduce some of the stigma around mental health and get people talking about it so they don’t feel alone. Whether it is their teacher or someone like us, there is always someone they can reach out to,” Nathan said.
Nathan is married to Hannah, and loves watching sport, going to the beach, bush walking and playing premier league football for the Macquarie Dragons.
As well as meeting with students individually, Nathan and Rebecca will be delivering workshops and talks to students throughout the year about managing mental and emotional wellbeing.
“Because we live in a broken world, it is to be expected that there will be times where our mental health is affected,” Nathan said.
“It’s important because it impacts our sense of self, our wellbeing, schooling, those around us - it can affect every part of our lives.
“The Bible gives such a good explanation as to why we sometimes feel the way we do. It gives us a worldview that answers many of the questions that arise when dealing with mental health issues.
“Jesus’ love for people gives us an example to follow, and a good template for counselling,” he said.
“Even feelings of being worried or stressed or anxious or down, it’s important that children know that they’re not alone and that there are a lot of ways to help manage those feelings and that there are people to support them,” Rebecca said.
“Jesus provides the ultimate hope. Without Him there are things we can do to help cope but the world can’t offer what Jesus can. When chatting to kids and staff I love that I'm able to share that with them,” she said.
If students would like an appointment with either Nathan or Rebecca they should first speak with their class teacher (Junior School) or Pastoral Care teacher (Secondary School). At times students may be first referred to the year coordinator or section coordinator.
“We really want to build a community around every student so that they have the care and support they need to thrive,” Rebecca said.
Nathan said that they were excited about the year ahead.
“It has been really nice getting to know some of the staff and students. They’ve been really friendly, and there are still lots of people to meet. We are looking forward to having a positive presence in the school!”
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