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Blue Week shines light on men’s health

Schools

Rostrevor College students have traded their distinctive red and black blazers for the colour blue, as a way of shining a light on men’s health issues.

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‘Blue Week’, from September 10-14, saw students wear something blue to school to show their solidarity with those experiencing depression or other mental health issues.

During the week there were a number of presentations to middle and senior students on men’s health and other events included a barbecue and soccer match between staff and students, with money raised going to Beyond Blue and prostate cancer research.

Rostrevor’s Social Justice prefect, Patrick Moller, said it was vital to heighten awareness of how depression and anxiety were affecting young men, as well as the supports available to them.

“The stigma around mental health in males isn’t good and we really need address that,” Patrick said.

“Especially in an all-boys’ school, it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling. We are all brothers and need to ensure our doors are always open.

“I’ve had several students come to me, particularly in the younger years. They may be new to the school and feeling quite anxious. Also, the pressure and expectations in Year 12 can be very stressful and get to people.”

He added that Rostrevor senior students who have studied men’s health issues were shocked by some of the findings.

“One in eight men will be affected by depression or mental health problems in their life. If you translate that to a school of 800, that could potentially affect 100 people,” Patrick said.

Deputy Principal Frank Ranaldo said he was very proud of the student-led Blue Week program and the support the college prefects and other senior students were providing to their peers.

“Having a supportive and open approach to young men’s health is our highest priority as student wellbeing underpins everything else,” Mr Ranaldo said.

The Blue Week initiatives were hosted in the lead up to Mental Health Week from October 7 to 13.

 

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