Principal's Comment

Posted Thursday March 7, 2024

Kia ora e te whānau

In our ever-evolving journey of nurturing resilient and compassionate young people, we know that many struggle with their mental health. Thankfully we have had a transformation in societal attitudes towards mental health. We are indeed blessed to be in a time where open conversations about these struggles are not just encouraged but embraced. Our Catholic community stands as a testament to the values of Community, Commitment, and Compassion, and it is heartening to witness our students and staff embody these values.

Adolescence is a time of significant growth and self-discovery. While many teenagers believe they possess the tools for independence, the reality is that emotional regulation and resilience often come with time and experience. The developing pre-frontal cortex, responsible for moderating emotions, actions, and thoughts, doesn't fully mature until the age of 25. Hence, it becomes crucial for us as a community to foster an environment of understanding and support.

As parents and caregivers, navigating the complexities of a teenager's emotional well-being can be challenging. Dr. Jenny Taitz, a Clinical Psychologist, offers valuable insights. She encourages us not to assume that our close relationships guarantee our teens will reach out during times of struggle. Instead, regular check-ins that go beyond the surface, such as asking, "Is there something you would like to talk about with me?" become pivotal in fostering open communication. Dr. Taitz also reminds us that, as parents, we cannot always be the superheroes who instantly fix everything. Listening and guiding our teens through their challenges become powerful acts of love. Furthermore, she underscores the importance of adequate sleep and exercise in maintaining mental well-being, urging us to establish boundaries around bedtime and device use.

Our school counsellor, Ms Catherine Baldock, recently spoke at our junior and senior assemblies and emphasised the invaluable role friends play in supporting one another, alongside our Tuakana Teina system in Whānau House time. While it warms our hearts to witness the camaraderie and caring among our students, let us be mindful that the responsibility may sometimes feel overwhelming for our young people. They, too, may need your support and guidance in assisting their friends through difficult times.

I encourage you to reach out to Ms Baldock, an expert in dealing with the challenges our young people may face. Your concerns and questions are always welcome, as together, as a community rooted in faith, we navigate the path of understanding, empathy, and healing. Let us continue to uphold the values of Community, Commitment, and Compassion, fostering an environment where each member feels seen, heard, and supported.

Charity Fulfils the Law