Kirwan High, a great place to belong
We are living through an unprecedented and uncertain time, requiring each of us to navigate our way as best we can through a rapidly evolving global health crisis. With things changing so quickly, such uncertainty and unpredictability can take a toll on our mental and physical health. This is why more than ever we need to be doing our best to pause, take a breath and be proactive in looking after ourselves and others.
There are a number of ways that you can practise mindfulness including:
- Stop what you are doing, take three long, and slow deep breaths. Impose a rhythm on your breathing so that your out-breath becomes longer than your in-breath.
- Try a 4-2-6 rhythm – e.g. breathe for 4 counts, hold your breath for 2 counts, and breathe out for 6 counts.
- If that does not feel comfortable, try imposing a 3-1-4 rhythm. The main thing is that your out-breath is slightly longer than your in-breath.
- HealthLine have listed 10 types of breathing technique so you can find one that best suits you.
- Splash cold water on your face
- Take a hot (or cold) shower
- Cuddle your pet
- Smell and/or diffuse a relaxing essential oil (lavender, geranium, ylang ylang)
- Take a moment to enjoy a cup of tea
- Access some short, guided grounding exercises from Smiling Mind, this is a free online and app based support.
What our students have said
The data from the Resilience Project Survey that all students at Kirwan State High School completed in 2019 shows that on average 50% of our students get 8 hours of sleep a night.
The data also identifies that girls at Kirwan High find it more difficult to sleep than boys (average 55.8%) and that the older our students get, the less sleep they are having.
How to improve sleep habits
There are lots of further information and some practical ideas on how to improve sleep health on following websites:
7 tips for falling alseep
Jason Ong, a sleep psychologist from Rush University Medical Centre has provided seven tips for falling asleep that focus on taking some of the stress out of sleep insomnia.
- Be a beginner – each night is a new night. Be open and try something different. What you have been doing to this point is probably not working well.
- Don't force it – Sleep is a process that can't be forced, allow it to unfold. Trying too hard to sleep longer or better isn't helpful and will only stress you out.
- Let go – If you're holding onto an idea of how much sleep you "should" get, you'll only worry don't get that amount. Can you let go of the "should" and allow sleep, any sleep happen naturally?
- No judging allowed – It is easy to judge being awake instead of asleep as bad, especially if you haven't slept well for several nights. But this kind of negative judgement can interfere with the process of sleep. Instead of labelling it as "good" or "bad", is there a way you can think about your sleep that feels less judgmental?
- Acceptance – Recognizing and accepting your current state is an important first step in choosing how to respond. If you can accept that sleep is not likely to come soon, why not get out of bed? Spending long periods of time awake in bed might make you used to being awake in bed.
- Trust – Trust that your mind and body knows what it needs. Also, trust that both can self-regulate and self-correct for sleep loss. For example, short consolidated sleep often feels more satisfying than longer fragmented sleep. Trust your sleep system and let it work for you.
- Patience – Be patient! If you have been in a cycle of sleeplessness, it can take time for the quality and quantity of your sleep to fall into a more natural rhythm.
Mindful – https://www.mindful.org/seven-tips-for-falling-asleep
- Try using video conferencing technology so that you can see each other. We communicate best when we see each other's body language and facial expressions. Do your best to listen and interact as mindfully as you can with others.
- eSafety have some tips on how to stay safe online during the pandemic.
- Cybersafety in Queensland State Schools has a lot of resources that is a must for all parents, carers and students.
- The Queensland Government have released a document outlining the positive and responsible technology use that provides information about how to protect yourself online.
Create Healthy Habits
Mindfulness can help us create healthy habits to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
We the Differents
Discover how to make your education work for you! We the differents is a Queensland Government initiative that provides students with a collection of information, tips, ideas and experiences to help you make the most of your education. The website looks at different aspects of young people's education including; my life, my education, my different and provides practical, youth based information and resources.
The resilience project @ home
TRP @ home is a platform that provides activities, resources and ideas to support the wellbeing of students and their families. On this site you will find easy to implement learning activities and digital content linked to The Resilience Projects key principals; Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy.
Tips for coping with coronavirus
In these unchartered times anxiety levels may rise in our community.
Anxiety is something that we all experience from time to time. Sometimes anxiety can help us perform better by helping us feel alert and motivated. The experience of anxiety is our body's way of preparing us to manage difficult situations.
Anxiety can come and go – but for some of us, it can stick around for a long time and end up having a big impact on daily life. When this happens, it might be time to do something about it.
Phone and Online Support Contact List
Townsville community offers a range of support services, there are also numerous services available for online and telephone support within the document.
Get "out" without leaving your house
- The 40 Best Educational Podcasts in 2020
- Top 10 Career Podcasts To Listen to This Year (2019)
- Watch some Ted Talks – there are over 3000 to choose from
- Get an opportunity to see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra live on YouTube, or watch the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on livestream
- Find other livestreams and virtual concerts from some of your favourite artists and performers
- Take free online art lessons
- Learn new skills and eat delicious meals by signing up to online cooking courses – some are free, some you will have to pay for, find one that suits your budget
- Sign up for virtual Open days at universities you are interested in attending
- Attend a Twitter Conference
- Find out what online services your local library offers, you might be surprised at their range of online offers.
- Alternatively sign into other libraries and borrow ebooks for free, then read until your hearts content:
- Open Library
- National Library of Australia
- Project Gutenburg
- Google Books – search the name of the book you are after & if it is on the library start reading without downloading or signing up
Families face many challenges and sometimes it is hard to get along, particularly when there are so many external factors out of our control. You can find some tips on how to get through these challenges and make your relationships stronger at Kids Help Line website. Respect is an important foundation for healthy relationships. Learn more about safe and respectful relationships and where to get more support online.
Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying. There are 6 methods of intervention outlined in this bully stoppers article.
A set schedule or routine for chores, work tasks, meetings, exercise and all the usual thing you do can help alleviate anxiety and stress. Headspace provide some information around establishing routines.
The Study Skills website helps students develop essential skills for academic success. There are units of work on topics such as improving time management skills, study techniques, research skills, summarising, technology use, brain and memory.
Student Wellbeing Support Personnel
** If you or someone you know is experiencing harm or are at risk of harm contact:
Emergency Services 000
Child Safety 1300 706 147 A/H 1800 177 135
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Headspace (07) 4799 1799
Report a bullying incident through Stymie
Kate Holznagel firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Department Wellbeing (Junior)
Year 7, 8, 9
General wellbeing issues, student engagement
Raelene Frantz email@example.com
Head of Department Wellbeing (Senior)
Year 10, 11, 12
General wellbeing issues, student engagement
Debbie Quirk firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 7, 8, 11
Individual Case Management
Community Links & Referrals
Students in Out of Home Care
Long Term AARA
For all year 7 enquiries please email
Kirsty Anderson email@example.com
Year 7, 9, 11
Belinda Lobegeiger firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 7, 9, 12
Melissa Spilsbury email@example.com
Year 7, 10
Carole Ogilvie firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 7, 8, 12
Debbie Downie email@example.com
School Nurse (SBYHN)
Student Programs, Immunisations, Sexual Health,
Mental Health Concerns
Lisa Hill firstname.lastname@example.org
Defence School Mentor
Support for Defence families
Youth Support Coodinators
Kym Schrank email@example.com
Years 7, 8
Student support, engagement and attendance
John Cochrane firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 9, 11
Lindsey Cullison email@example.com
Years 9, 12
Joseph Veukiso firstname.lastname@example.org
Years 10, 11
Years 7, 9, 11
engagement/support and counselling for Indigenous students and their families.
Years 8, 10, 12