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R U OK? Day is tomorrow the 9th of September.  The R U OK? mission aligns very closely to our College Touchstones and values and we hope to inspire and empower our students to meaningfully connect with those in their world and lend support when they are struggling.  Up to 25% of men experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime, and one in 7 children aged 4-17 experience a mental health disorder in Australia, with boys 5% more likely than girls to experience this (The mental health of children and adolescents).

Last week, St Brendan’s College immersed our year 8 students in a full day, RU OK? retreat at Surf Lakes.  The College embraces a culture of ‘Brotherhood’ and the theme of R U OK? provided Head of Year 8, Bjorn Prince and a comprehensive group of staff members an opportunity to arm our boys with skills to support each other and strategies for maintaining positive mental health.  An emphasis was placed on removing the stigma in young men about reaching out for help when they are struggling.  Activities included recognizing behavioral signs in those around us and when and how to ask … R U OK?  The benefits of both physical activity and meditation for the mind and the body was another key focus.

Surf Lakes offered their facilities as a trial for school groups.  The facility offers an idyllic location for hands-on activities that gets students out of the classroom and into the outdoors.  The R U OK? message is one that the Surf Lakes staff endorse.  They were very enthusiastic to engage with our students, promoting surfing as an activity that supports both physical and mental health.   The high point of the retreat was when Surf Lakes staff, Joey and Daniel Patterson challenged our students to an arm-wrestle that resulted in two surfboards being awarded to Ben Buttigieg and Nate London.

The day was very enjoyable and a chance to celebrate an important message.  The College is passionate about holistic education and a key element for all during their journey at St Brendan’s is ensuring they are equipped with the right tools to grow into strong, healthy young men of faith, knowledge and respect.

 For more information about the organisation please visit... A conversation could change a life | R U OK?


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