Wellbeing impinges on the ability of students to learn, progress and be their best.
While all our staff are alert to and provide for the wellbeing needs of our students, our strong Wellbeing team offers a range of services to help students and families with issues of concern to them. These qualified and skilled professionals can be accessed by students and parents as required by appointment:
T: 9438 8500
They are located in the Wellbeing Centre.
St Helena Secondary College adopts a whole school approach to fostering wellbeing for all.
We are a community in which a sense of affiliation and connectedness flourishes. Care, inclusion and friendship characterises our history and our culture, and are central tenets of our educational philosophy. It also inspires our service ethic; the imperative to address the needs of and enrich others.
At St Helena we are intentional about fostering care, both formally and informally. We know that effective learning relies on a sense of wellbeing, healthy self-esteem and trusting relationships. It creates the conditions that enable students to take learning risks and to Dare to be Excellent.
The formal wellbeing program is guided by the conceptual framework of Positive Psychology implemented through STRIVE. This empowering program supports students in the identification and development of their character strengths and provides strategies for managing difficulties that confront them in their academic, social or personal lives. The hope, optimism and positive change practices students are exposed to routinely translate into improved attitudes and outcomes, increased resilience and a bright outlook.
We are grateful to all community members for perpetuating our caring culture – the respectful and positive relationships that foster open communication and our safe, happy learning environment.
Meet St Helena Wellbeing Team
Rachel Weiss (She/Her)
Leading Teacher for Wellbeing & Child Safety Officer
My role is to ensure high quality Wellbeing support and education and is provided across school. I lead the work of the Wellbeing Team to ensure that the social, emotional and welfare needs of our students are met through the coordination of support for students with complex wellbeing needs. I work with students, families and support services to help our young people to succeed through the provision of goal directed counselling and practical support, and connection with external services. I have a genuine interest in supporting young people in developing, recognising and achieving their potential. I focus on identifying and celebrating individuals strengths. I strive to enhance students confidence in their ability to cope with challenges, and help to promote decision-making, independence and resilience.
Sarah Russell (She/Her)
I work directly with students and their families with a goal to ensure that no student is disadvantaged. I can provide students with goal directed counselling and practical support and can help with a range of wellbeing needs. I coordinate welfare supports for families facing financial or other hardship, including State Schools Relief. I work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and strive to foster a culturally safe school environment. I am passionate about helping young people to reach their goals and supporting them to make meaningful change in their lives. I believe in a person-in-environment approach and recognise the importance of understanding not only the individual, but also the impact of the environment in which they live.
Elizabeth Nealy (She/Her)
Wellbeing Support Teacher
I can provide support and assistance to students experiencing difficulties at school, at home, or in the community. I recognise the interconnections between social and emotional wellbeing and learning and can work alongside students and families to develop effective support plans at school to manage any challenges across these domains. I can provide targeted intervention, facilitate referrals of students to external agencies, and act as a liaison between the College and external agencies. Throughout my teaching journey, I have enjoyed helping students from all year levels with goal setting to assist them through whatever challenges they may face. Seeing their resilience grow is a great reward.
Kara Chambers (She/Her)
Mental Health Practitioner – Psychologist
Through our wellbeing referral process, my role is to provide direct counselling support and other early interventions for students with mental health needs, and to help students to connect with more intensive support when needed. I also contribute to whole school approaches to mental health prevention and promotion, and work to improve mental health understanding across the school community.
I have worked with adolescents, children and adults in a variety of educational, community and forensic settings. I am passionate about helping young people with a range of mental health and wellbeing issues, to support them to respond to challenges and thrive in life.
Stephanie Villani (She/Her)
In my role, I can provide students with goal directed counselling and practical support and can help with a range of wellbeing needs. I work to support a sense of community connectedness for all students, and coordinate support for those living in out of home care. I support the delivery of Wellbeing programs and services at school, and work alongside staff to help facilitate these. I can help with guidance and referral for both in school and out of school support options. I have a good understanding of our local network and work closely alongside local agencies with a goal to achieve connection and wellbeing for all. As a social worker my job is to help break down barriers for students so they can reach their full potential. I enjoy using strengths-based and person in environment approaches to empower students to be their best.
We have positive relationships with personnel at a number of external agencies. Some of these provide an on-site service for our students.
Referrals to agencies such as Berry Street Family Services, YSAS, Austin YETTI, Navigator and Headspace Greensborough, are made through the Student Wellbeing Team.
St Helena Secondary College is fortunate to have a highly skilled multidisciplinary Wellbeing Team guiding wellbeing intervention across the school. The team strive to lead effective wellbeing practice across the College ensuring that proactive, goal centred and targeted intervention is provided for students and families. Our tiered structure and school wide approach to supporting wellbeing ensures that all students have access to appropriate support at school.
At St Helena Secondary College, we support wellbeing at school by ensuring that all Teachers are equipped to provide pastoral care for their students. Classroom teachers will use the frameworks and strategies delivered by the College to provide general support for students and communicate with families regarding academic progress, classroom behaviour, wellbeing, and readiness to learn.
- Year 7 STRIVE teachers. In addition to their delivery of wellbeing curriculum, our Year 7 STRIVE teachers endeavour to build nurturing and supportive relationships with their class. Year 7 STRIVE teachers are able to provide general guidance and support, and are your first point of contact for most school, peer, social or emotional issues that your young person may require some support with. STRIVE teachers are able to liaise with Year Level Managers when issues emerge that require targeted support.
- Across all Mini Schools, Year Level Managers provide targeted intervention for students requiring individual assistance and support. Year Level Managers are equipped to provide support across a range of challenges including learning, wellbeing, behaviour and pathways. Year Level Managers are supported closely by our Wellbeing Team, and are able to make referrals for wellbeing support when appropriate.
- The Wellbeing team provide high quality student wellbeing support that empowers students and teachers to meet educational and wellbeing outcomes. The Wellbeing Team accept referrals from Year Level Managers and Principals. Our multidisciplinary wellbeing team work to ensure that the diverse and dynamic needs of our school community are met.