Students learn resilience and wellbeing lessons

Year six school children from all areas of the wheatbelt learnt about resilience and wellbeing in a fun, interactive forum held at the Northam Recreation Centre on June 13-14. 

The program was funded by the West Australian Police and Local Drug Action Groups (LDA) and organised by School Drug Education and Road Awareness (SDERA) chairman Rose Power. 

LDA chief executive officer Jen O’Mullane said the workshops are important for school children. 

“(The workshops) teach young people life skills and build resilience around making healthy, informed choices,” she said.

"I think there is a common understanding that we need to start teaching children resilience in schools.

“They have to learn how to navigate life, don’t they.

“Life is complex and it is forums and events like this that help them to be able to make those choices.”

Children gathered in groups and learnt from different departments about mental health, goal setting, drugs and alcohol, the law and how to handle your emotions.  

Speakers included Department of Education - Wheatbelt Aboriginal manager Yvonne Green, Wheatbelt GP Network officer James West, WA Country Health Service officers Eloise Hawkins and Sarah Dixon and Holyoake coordinators Eloise Fewster and Jo Drayton.

Ms O’Mullane said this is the first time the workshop has been held in Northam.

“It has been so successful, they are already thinking about and planning for next year,” she said. 

Schools involved in the program included; West Northam Primary School, Toodyay District High School, Goomalling Primary School, Wongan Hills Primary School, Wundowie Primary School, Bakers Hill Primary School, York District High School, Avonvale Primary School, Meckering Primary School, Beverley District High School, Dowerin District High School and Sacred Heart Catholic School. 

The inaugural workshop was run in Geraldton last year.