New Year Resolutions

Welcome to 2024 – many of you will have already started on New Year resolutions for yourself. I wonder if you have discussed with your children what they also might be hoping for this year, how they might begin this process and what they might “do differently” to move toward their goals. New year resolutions are really goals that you would like to achieve.

Most people want to see some kind of change or improvement in their lives from time to time. Setting goals is an effective way to increase motivation and to help you and your children create the changes you would like. It can be used to improve mental health, relationships, or improve productivity at work or school.

Goals need to be specific and achievable – it helps when they can be “ticked off”. Sometimes values can be confused with goals, but values are lifelong and represent what is important to you. Goals are most successful when they align with your values, ie if family is important then a goal might be to ensure that as a family you have dinner together most nights or you might engage more with what your children might be listening to or watching, or you might have one night where you play games together as a family.

Mental health, such as anxiety or depression, can often get in the way of our goals so it especially important to align goals with one’s strengths. Start small; if your goal is “I need to get more sleep” then perhaps start going to bed 10 minutes earlier than normal and increase that in week two to say 15 minutes and so on until you reach your goal.

Sometimes people get stuck on the actual goal setting, the steps to take to achieve their goals or become disheartened if they don’t achieve their goals. Seeing a counsellor can help you set up your own goals to improve mental health wellbeing.

For further information on how to most set and reach your own goals please refer to:

If you think your child might struggle with goal setting, please encourage them to make an appointment via email or phone with one of the Brigidine College Counsellors – taking these steps early will enable them to put strategies into practice throughout the year.

Please find a list of external resources to support mental health wellbeing which you or your child can access via our local Northern Sydney Health District which are often free or low cost.

Parents/Carers 2024

Understanding how to support your child with online gaming – eSafety Commissioner. An overview of selecting quality games, understanding how to reduce the risks of gaming, and how to create better gaming habits. Wednesday 7th February, 12.30pm-1.15pm. Free.

EPIC parent program Term 1 – Empowering Parents In Crisis. EPIC Parent Program is a five session program that builds understanding, knowledge and confidence to better support your young person, your family and yourself. Five consecutive Mondays commencing on Monday 12th February, 7.30pm-8.45pm.

Navigating autism at home and school – Northern Beaches Council. Professor Tony Attwood provides an understanding and strategies to help you guide your child or young person so that they can navigate their environment and increase their potential. Webinar, Tuesday 20th February, 7pm-8.30pm. Free, registrations required.

eSafety 101: How eSafety can help – eSafety Commissioner. This webinar provides an overview of the eSafety Commissioner, supporting programs together with resources for parents and carers, children and young people in primary and secondary school. Thursday 22nd February, 12.30pm-1pm. Free.

Online safety and social media: TikTok, YouTube and Instagram – eSafety Commissioner. An overview of managing different functions of social media, including chat and privacy settings. This webinar also covers positive conversations about social media use, managing content and reporting negative online experiences. Thursday 29th February, 12.30pm-1pm. Free.

Other free/low-cost support for mental health wellbeing:

Kids Helpline
For ages 5 – 25yrs
Free 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
1800 55 1800 available 24/7
Visit www.kidshelpline.com.au

Youth Beyond Blue
Specialist youth support for anxiety and depression
Ph: 1300 22 4636 (24 hours support)
chat online: https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/
(3pm – 12am)

For all ages
Provides all Australians access to crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Ph: 13 11 14 available 24/7
Chat online, available 7pm – 12am
Visit lifeline.org.au

NSW Mental Health Line for advice, assessment and referral on freecall 1800 011 511. The Mental Health Line is a 24-hour telephone service operating seven days a week across NSW and determines the appropriate service for referral. Your Mental Health helpline clinician will assess your situation and decide the best course of action to assist you.

Online Resources:

REACHOUT.com – Online resource for young people and their parents with the most up to date information, online forums, facts sheets, apps and online anxiety and depression programs. www.reachout.com

Headspace – Government funded free service. Help and support for young people aged 12-25 at centres, in person, online or over the phone for mental health, general health, family issues, alcohol and drug and work and study. Ph: 8021 3668 https://headspace.org.au

KYDS – Free counselling service for young people – located at Lindfield. Nil cost  Ph: 9416 0900 https://www.kyds.org.au

The BRAVE Program – BRAVE is a free online self-help program for prevention, early intervention and treatment of anxiety in young people. It has teen, and parent components. https://brave4you.psy.uq.edu.au/

MoodGYM Online program – teaches skills from CBT to help prevent and manage symptoms of anxiety/depression. https://moodgym.com.au/

You can contact the college counsellors Becky Salter, Codie Atherton or Emma Timmins for further details at mailto:counsellor@brigidine.nsw.edu.au or contact Ph: 99886275.

Becky Salter
College Counsellor

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