Keith Area School's Wellbeing Week normalises mental health discussion

Keith Area School have long been proactive in the mental health space, and last week they celebrated their annual Wellbeing Week.

Wellbeing coordinator Kristy Clark said while the school was unable to host an expo or community event this year, they still managed to celebrate the occasion at school with the students.

Last Monday, the school's Wellbeing Ambassador Group organised lunch time activities for the students to enjoy.

"It has been great to see them (the group) develop their leadership skills and create play opportunities for every member of our school," Mrs Clark said.

While national R U OK? Day took place on September 10, the school used last Tuesday as an opportunity to get involved in their own special way.

"All the students and staff dressed in yellow and the students were involved in lessons about the main messages behind R U OK? Day," Mrs Clark said.

Mrs Clark said they talked to the students about using four easy steps to potentially change someone's life.

The four steps were; ask 'Are you Ok?', listen, encourage action, and check in.

The following day, the school celebrated Walk to School Day, with staff organising a range of physical activities for the students to take part in.

"It was fantastic to see the students out in the fresh air and exercising, it was a great way to start the day," Mrs Clark said.

Activities continued on the Thursday, with the staff wellbeing team putting together some fun lunch time activities for both the staff and students to be involved in.

"One of these was the high school netball tournament. This has been going all term and it has been wonderful to see the high school students enjoying their sport at lunch and working together," Mrs Clark said.

"The annual teachers versus grand final was held this week - we are very proud to say the teachers won."

The week concluded with a PJ Day, which saw the school raise money for Headspace Mount Gambier, who have been great supporters of the school.

"Keith Area School have a great working relationship with Headspace, and we offer a Telehealth program at our school," Mrs Clark said.

Despite the week being smaller than last year due to the pandemic, it still made a major impact to many of the students.

"Wellbeing Week was a great success - it is always important to get the topic of mental health out in the school and the community and we were grateful for the opportunities that the week gave us to do that," Mrs Clark said.