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Parent Information Evening — Depression, Anxiety, Weight & Autism

On Wednesday, 12 March, 4 members of the Student Wellbeing Team presented an evening dealing with the important issues of depression, anxiety, weight and autism.

Below is a summary of what was presented on the night.

General Observations

Students’ Perspective

Depression

  • sadness and depression are different. When you are sad, the things that used to bring you happiness can lift your mood. When you are depressed, they don’t … nothing does.
  • I wanted to just stay in my room, alone
  • I had intrusive physical and sexual thoughts which were frightnening.
  • My first counsellor didn’t help
  • I didn’t fit in with the “boy” group at school — swearing, punching, yelling, … it just wasn’t me
  • Happy music calms me and restores a sense of peace and a degree of happiness
  • I attend counselling with Pascal
  • I am in between sadness and depression at the moment.
  • I do not take medication

Weight

  • I got picked on because I was fat
  • I used to pig-out on unhealthy foods on my way to school
  • I rarely exercised
  • I went to Gecko gym — a kids’ gym
  • My trainer believed in me and put me on an eating and exercise plan. I fully committed to it
  • I am employed at the gym now
  • I feel so much better, I am motivated, I play heaps of sports, I am in school teams, and girls take a lot more notice of me!!!
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBUzc6c2pZY&feature=player_embedded (watch for Karl’s story)

Anxiety

  • I used to try to limit my anxiety by missing out on classes
  • I would anticipate the worst … even days ahead of a class or a particular event
  • I would really worry — maybe not show it — but I would feel sick inside
  • My behaviour was often mistaken as something else … but it was really anxiety that was my problem
  • With Pascal I am learning to face anxiety by (a) confronting it … like talking to the maths teacher (b) by dealing with the 4-letter f word (fact) and not letting my imagination worry me © by taking one day at a time (d) by having something pleasurable in the day to look forward to

Autism

  • this is a condition marked by impaired communication and poor social skills. It is lifelong
  • it requires a great deal of organisation by the family because my sister needs lots of extra care and attends a large range of professional services which take lots of time and money
  • it means that the family can’t go to places that others go to as my sister will not be able to be there or to participate in a way that makes her — or us — happy and at ease
  • lots of one-on-one social interaction helps
  • I love my sister and I have learned so much from her
  • I’m a proud to see her growing into a girl (One Direction is her latest craze!!!)
I would like to thank the four presenters for their time and insight and also the families for their attendance and support.

Pascal Rohan
Director of Student Wellbeing

prohan@delasalle.vic.edu.au