R U OK?
September 9, 2022
What a joy it has been this week to feel the warmth of the Spring sun infusing TIGS community as we have gone about our day to day business of teaching and learning together. With the near completion of our third term together, 2022 is proving to be an unprecedented year – at least in recent memory – in which we have not faced the disruption and profound challenges of distance learning. And that is also a source of great joy!
Whilst there are doubtless many more reasons to be grateful and encouraged, I have been reflecting this week on some of the realities of our collective wellbeing and particularly the area of mental health.
Earlier this year, the WHO reported a global increase in anxiety and depression of some 25%, arising during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic alone. The Director General (Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus) said this, “The information we have now about the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s mental health is just the tip of the iceberg”.
As a community founded on strong Christian principles, it is our privilege to offer support, compassion and kindness wherever we are able.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, …who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
For this reason, my greatest joy this week was spending time with our students as they responded to the call R U OK?
Evie-Rose Atkins (Year 10) was one of the students who took up an active role in the event with enthusiasm. She has kindly provided her own reflections below:
“On Thursday this week, it was R U OK? Day, and with the pandemonium our world is currently dealing with, it is essential – now more than ever – to be checking in with your friends, loved ones and community.
TIGS community is very close and supportive, caring immensely for its students. It wants to see them thrive not only in academics, but as well-rounded people too. This was demonstrated today through the R U OK? Day festivities. Today in the library was a vibrant atmosphere full of students and teachers singing and dancing along to uplifting music as they were completing a mural to promote wellbeing and having open conversations about navigating mental health for themselves and others.
It’s important in these tricky times to be there for others and to know that others are there for you too. Asking ‘are you ok?’ may make someone’s day, help solve a situation or even change someone’s life!
As R U OK? Day comes to an end. It is vital that we use this as a reminder to keep the conversation going about mental health and educate ourselves about what we can do to help others and ourselves. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to ask R U OK?
The unity and support that was shown today about such an important topic truly makes me proud to be a part of such a wonderful community. I wish everyone a lovely weekend – and don’t forget to check in with your loved ones!”