Belmont Private Hospital donated the area’s first Buddy Bench to Moreton Bay College at a special event yesterday so students can reach out from a safe and comfortable space if they are struggling in the playground.
Students who feel isolated while trying to form new relationships at the primary school will signal their need for connection by sitting on the bench so fellow students can include them in play.
The bench was one of Belmont Private’s many community initiatives to raise mental health awareness during Queensland’s Mental Health Week, which started on October 5 and commenced on Sunday.
Moreton Bay College head of primary Rebecca Lennon said the bench was a positive step forward for the school 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,” she said.
“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 MBC’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 said the addition of the Buddy Bench would help students develop fundamental emotional skills they can carry throughout their educational journey and life.
“We hope the introduction of this mental health initiative improves the students’ feelings of acceptance while eliminating feelings of loneliness and bullying in the schoolyard,” she said.
“The Buddy Bench will help foster the early intervention of potential mental illness and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health in the community.”
To learn more about Belmont Private Hospital's latest mental health initiative, visit:
Belmont Private Hospital regularly hosts events within the local community. If you are interested in attending any of Belmont Private Hospital's upcoming events