The Laudato Si Challenge | Miss Nikita Bedwell
This week, The Terrace Advocacy Group are excited to launch two new initiatives and hope that each will have a meaningful and positive impact on the College community.
The Laudato Si Challenge
From 30 May to 2 June, the Terrace Family is encouraged to participate in the 'Laudato Si Challenge' in the lead-up to World Environment Day. The 'Laudato Si Challenge' is another initiative of the Year 11 & 12 Terrace Advocacy Group in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and caring for God’s creation.
Every member of the community is urged to attempt a 'waste-free' lunch for one week by packing lunch boxes containing little to no single-use plastic. The hope is to reduce the College’s waste and reduce our landfill contribution so we encourage families to find reusable alternatives when packing lunches next week.
As part of the Challenge, there will also be a ‘Litter-Free Seating Area’ competition run between the year levels. The Terrace Advocacy Group will monitor each year level’s seating area during the week of 30 May to 2 June and will provide a BBQ to the year level judged to have left the least litter and waste in their area.
The Gorilla Nest
This Friday the Terrace Advocacy Group will launch their new mental health and wellbeing initiative; the ‘Gorilla Nest’. This will be a space where once a fortnight students are invited to sit down, pause and participate in discussion focussed on a wellbeing question or prompt. Some possible questions include, ‘Who is someone that you couldn’t live without?’ and, ‘What is one thing you’ve grown to like about yourself?’ The questions are aimed to encourage students to reflect, share and talk in an open dialogue which the Terrace Advocacy Group hope will help break down the stigma around men’s mental health issues.
At a recent College Assembly, Peter Kallos, a Year 12 member of the Terrace Advocacy Group, shared these words and statistics about men’s mental health :
“Talk to me brother I need to hear your voice
Your mind is a mountain
Mind is the mountain
So climb out.”
(From: 'Mind is a Mountain' - The Get Ahead)
Think about those words for a second.
The song lyrics you just heard are about saving someone from their worst enemy; themselves. The human mind can be your strongest ally or your greatest enemy. In this song, the mind is a mountain, showing the struggles and heights someone must face to climb out, but it also shows it’s possible.
We need to help each other climb our mental mountains. In Australia today, 1 in 5 young people have experienced issues with their mental health. In addition to that, 1 in 13 consider suicide and 1 in 10 self-harm. But the most confronting statistic is that when experiencing issues with mental health, only 13% of young men, like yourselves, would seek help, whether professional or even just talking to loved ones.
There is a masculine stereotype that spans thousands of years; men are supposed to be stoic, emotionless and reserved. That stereotype is nothing but an outdated cliché. We know that as men we can be fragile, overwhelmed, confused, hurt, upset and scared, or even just lost at times. But through societal expectations and even self-inflicted expectations, we’ve trained ourselves to be reserved and to bottle up feelings so no one else can know what we’re thinking. This is not the way forward. Men’s mental health is a huge issue and it's one that's not talked about enough, but we need to talk.
There's a myriad of reasons which prevent men from speaking up when they're feeling low, but recent research from the organization Movember found the top three reasons were; feeling embarrassed, not knowing who to speak to and not being able to find the right words.
This is a culture that the Terrace Advocacy Group aims to change. A culture we hope to first shift here at school with each other, but with the greater hope that each of you will then take this culture shift out into the community.
So 'talk to me brothers, we need to hear your voice'.