Local students graduate from important mental health program

July 11, 2023 | IN Media Release and News | BY AVID | 2 min read

Sixteen grade 10 students from St Bede’s Catholic College in Chisholm graduated from the Top Blokes Foundation mentorship program on Tuesday 27 June surrounded by friends and educators.

The 18 week course was sponsored by Waterford by AVID Property Group (Waterford) who have a strong relationship with Top Blokes, funding similar programs for local students in past years.

Top Blokes Foundation Regional Coordinator Aaron O’Driscoll said the 18 week program covered a range of topics including mental health, resilience, masculinity and discrimination and was a great success.

“We are very grateful for the support of Waterford by AVID Property Group for allowing us to provide this opportunity to the young men of St Bede’s Catholic College,” Mr O’Driscoll said.

“We have seen improvements in different areas across each of the individuals in our group. For some, we saw turning points during specific conversations around masculinity, while for others it was during our mental health workshop.”

Mr O’Driscoll said seeing positive changes is a driving force for them when delivering the program.

“One thing we recognised across all of the guys was an increase in how comfortable they felt speaking openly and being vulnerable in the presence of other young men,” Mr O’Driscoll said.

“It was great to see the boys step away from some harmful stereotypes that are placed on young men, and be confident enough to share their adversities and challenges.”

St Bede’s Catholic College Assistant Principal Emma South said watching the graduation session was powerful.

“We hope the students can now take their learning and put it into practice, passing on their knowledge in ways that not only support themselves, but others within the community,” Ms South said.

The secondary school plan to continue the program in Semester Two with students in their grade 9 cohort.


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