The Worry Workshop — when Behind the News came to St Peters

Bronwyn WilsonSocial issues

Kids tackle their worries when Behind the News came to visit

Mental health and wellbeing were on the agenda when Behind the News (BtN) came to film a special report about worrying.

In a recent edition of the ABC TV children’s current affairs program, the issue of mental health was discussed, and the Kids’ happiness survey launched. The survey garnered over 20,000 responses with one of the big findings being that 20% of kids surveyed say they ‘worried all or most of the time’. BtN posed the question: “… how can you make sure your worries don’t get out of control”; they called in Child Psychologist (and St Peters parent) Kirrilie Smout to address the issue with the Room 2 (Year 5 and 6) students through a Worry Workshop.

Kirrilie assured the children that worrying is perfectly normal, and identified the part of the brain that makes us worried and is “designed to be on the lookout all of the time to danger”. She called it the ‘worry machine’.

The children constructed their own worry machine, and posted some of their worries on the machine. Kirrilie went on to explain about the three types of lies that our worry machine tells us and provided strategies to challenge these lies and “act brave” in little ways, that will help them cope with worry. She also showed them some relaxation techniques that can help when they’re feeling particularly worried.

Thanks to Kirrilie for speaking to our students and to BtN for allowing us to be part of this very important presentation.

“Thanks BtN and Mrs Kirrilie Smout for doing this story.” said Principal, Mr Mark Rathjen “Well-being is a significant and growing issue for our children and society. Bringing it into the public eye and presenting strategies for coping with worry and stress will help tackle this problem.”

You can see the video on the Behind the News website here:

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