Tasmanian LIFE Awards – Hutchins boys take the lead in Mental Health awareness and suicide prevention
On Wednesday 8 May 2019 the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Community Network (TSPCN) held their annual LIFE Awards before tomorrow’s forum in Hobart. We are very excited that The Hutchins School received the Outstanding Contribution to Suicide Prevention by a Young Person Award. As only one of four categories awarded, this is significant recognition for the efforts made by the boys and staff at Hutchins in the area of mental health and specifically suicide prevention.
During the Term 2 Holidays, a number of Year 10–12 students participate in a 2-day Youth Mental Health First Aid Course. The importance of this course is a natural progression from raising awareness and normalizing the conversation that needs to take place, to addressing the challenge that revolves around how to have this conversation and how to refer friends to someone more skilled to assist. Following their successful completion of the course, all participants have now been invited to consider becoming a Mental Health Contact Officer in support of their peers in the Senior School. This initiative of our current Prefect for Mental Health and Wellbeing, George Scott, is a support role using the skills that were developed through the course, in many instances it will be a first contact for students seeking support, with the focus of the role being mainly as a supportive listener and someone who can point other students in the right direction for further help. Contact Officers will be supported by the School Counsellor and the Head of Senior School in an ongoing basis that will include fortnightly check-ins for debriefing, reviewing what was learnt in the Youth Mental Health First Aid Course and hearing from guest speakers to enable ongoing learning and support. As a school we are now committed to offering this course on a yearly basis and continuing to support our young men.
Headmaster Dr Rob McEwan and Prefect George Scott (Year 12) were in attendance to receive the award and are pictured with James Rice and Mitch McPherson from Speak up! Stay ChatTy who sponsor the award.