Focus on wellbeing as Blackfriars hosts guest speakers

Blackfriars’ commitment to wellbeing is being brought into sharp focus, with a series of guest speakers covering topics ranging from safe partying to understanding period pain and endometriosis.

Over the past few weeks, Blackfriars has welcomed Encounter Youth – the largest provider of alcohol and other drug education to South Australian secondary students – which delivered six sessions for Years 7-12 boys.

They included What’s The Deal (Year 7), which taught students how to build resilience and navigate challenging social environments, and Know Your Limits (Year 9), which encouraged young people to make positive choices when socialising.

Year 12 students Edward and Luke, with Louis Burden, at one of the Encounter Youth education sessions.

Director of Wellbeing Anthea Osborne said the annual Encounter Youth sessions were vital in providing students with “accurate information that empowers them to make informed decisions”.

“Understanding the short-term and long-term effects of substance use can lead to better choices regarding their health and wellbeing,” Ms Osborne said.

“The Encounter Youth sessions teach students critical life skills such as decision-making, problem-solving and resisting peer pressure. These skills are valuable beyond avoiding substance abuse and contribute to overall personal development.”

Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive year, Blackfriars will this week host a Periods, Pain, Endometriosis Program (PPEP) Talk for Boys, presented by the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia.

In 2021, Blackfriars became the first all-boys school in Australia to host a PPEP Talk.

“Educating boys about the challenges that girls and women face, including period pain and endometriosis, fosters empathy and understanding,” Ms Osborne said.

“Menstruation and conditions like endometriosis are often surrounded by stigma and misinformation. By normalising these topics in all-boys schools, we can help reduce taboos and create a more open and inclusive society.

“Plus, boys will have mothers, sisters, friends and, eventually, possibly partners who may experience period pain or endometriosis. Understanding these conditions can help them provide better support and care for their loved ones.”

Also this week, Blackfriars will host the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s Prevent Alcohol & Risk-related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) Program for boys in Years 10 and 11.

Anthea Osborne, Director of Wellbeing.

“PARTY is one of the best holistic educational opportunities provided for our students to receive first-hand, practical information about trauma and the far-reaching impacts that it has on individuals, family and friends and local communities,” Ms Osborne said.

She was proud of Blackfriars’ ongoing commitment to wellbeing.

“Creating an environment that prioritises student wellbeing is essential for their academic and personal growth,” Ms Osborne said.

“A school culture that emphasises wellbeing builds resilience and prepares students to handle life’s challenges effectively.”

'Volunteers don’t always have the time, but they always have the heart'

They are the quiet army, working behind the scenes to make our school a better place. To mark National Volunteer Week, we pay tribute to Blackfriars' volunteers.

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