Bayside’s first ‘buddy bench’ to encourage inclusion and friendship among students as part of mental health week Queensland’s largest private mental health facility has partnered Moreton Bay College to create a more inclusive playground for students, today confirming plans to install bayside Brisbane’s first ‘buddy bench’ to overcome the challenges of making friends at school.
On Wednesday, 9 October, 2019 Belmont Private Hospital will donate the bench at a special onsite event at Moreton Bay College Primary School, so students can reach out from a safe and comfortable space if they’re struggling in the playground.
By simply sitting on the bench, students who feel isolated while navigating the complexities of relationships and play will signal their need for connection, so that fellow students can include them in play.
It is one of many of Belmont Private’s week-long community initiatives to raise mental health awareness throughout Queensland’s mental health week (5-13 October 2019).
Moreton Bay College Head of Primary, Rebecca Lennon says this a positive step forward for the College and mental health awareness and prevention in Australia.
“When it comes to the wellbeing of our students, at Moreton Bay College we seek to ensure our students feel safe, happy and supported while at school.”
“If a child is feeling left out, they can feel safe to make new friends in the playground by sitting on the bench. Another student will then invite them to play in a new game or simply sit and talk,” said Rebecca.
“We are very excited to be one of the first Colleges in the Bayside to implement this new and innovative project.”
The Buddy Bench concept aligns with the College’s Hearts and Minds wellbeing framework and overarching Positive Behaviour Policy. It is a valuable teaching tool that can be used to develop students’ social and emotional skills, ongoing pro-social behaviour, and help build connections that support and enrich their every day.
Belmont Private Hospital CEO, Mary Williams says the addition of the Buddy Bench will help students develop fundamental emotional enrichment skills right from the early phases of schooling and assist the students to carry these skills throughout their educational journey and life. “We hope the introduction of this mental health initiative improves the students’ feelings of acceptance whilst eliminating feelings of loneliness and bullying in the schoolyard.
“The Buddy Bench will help foster the early intervention of potential mental illness and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health in the community,” said Mary.
About Belmont Private Hospital
Belmont Private Hospital is Queensland’s largest private mental health hospital, proudly delivering clinical excellence and innovation in patient-centred care, with positive outcomes for over 40 years.
The 150-bed hospital is the only dedicated private, inpatient hospital for the treatment of perinatal mood disorders as well as the only service offering a dedicated unit and specialist treatment for dissociative disorders.
The team of Psychiatrists, Medical, Nursing and Allied Health professionals provides expert care to manage and treat a wide range of mental health disorders.
Belmont Private Hospital is owned by Healthe Care Australia, a subsidiary of Luye Medical. Healthe Care is the third largest corporate private hospital operator in Australia, and the nation’s second largest private mental health provider (800 beds).
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Sonya Stribling; Graphic Designer and Website Co-ordinator
Moreton Bay College