High school launches program to tackle mental health issues

Henry Kendall High School students Erika Braithwaite and Isabella Kusturin recently presented to the student body on the latest initiatives of the Health and Fitness ProgramHenry Kendall High School students Erika Braithwaite and Isabella Kusturin recently presented to the student body on the latest initiatives of the Health and Fitness Program

[Gosford] Henry Kendall High School has launched a new health and fitness program to tackle mental health issues in young people.

“Mental health issues can be prevented with early intervention and equipping students with strategies to deal with mental health and the modern pressures that surround them,” said Henry Kendall High School Principal, Mr Andrew Backhouse. “Henry Kendall High School has established Health and Fitness as a new sport program aimed at promoting positive mental health and fitness”. According to Mr Backhouse, students work together in a team, learning new skills and techniques related to training, but also education, on eating habits, and importantly, mindfulness techniques such as meditation and yoga.

“Teaching the younger generation about healthy options in life is vital in establishing lifelong patterns and showing students it isn’t a chore – it can be fun,” said local personal trainer assisting with the program, Mr Jarred Brown Recently, teachers at Henry Kendall High School attended the 2018 Mental Health in Schools Conference in Sydney, and learnt from, Professor Craig Hassed, from Monash University, that ‘mindfulness’ strategies have significantly decreased rates of anxiety and depression.

“Therefore, this sports program starts with education where students learn in a collaborative setting about health patterns, followed by training, and finishing with meditation and ‘mindfulness’ strategies,” Mr Backhouse said. “Interestingly, not only will this increase their productivity in the classroom, but recent research from the Black Dog Institute has found, that just one hour of exercise a week can help prevent up to 12 per cent of future cases of depression.

“Consequently, the Henry Kendall High School mental health team is working towards its goal in providing all students with strategies to deal with mental health. “Through this specifically designed local program, we can work towards prevention and empower students to motivate each other and achieve positive healthy lifestyles,” he concluded. Source: Newsletter, Jun 8 Andrew Backhouse, Henry Kendall High School

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