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Mackay Private 'Buddys Up' with local school to take a stand against bullying

On Friday 19 March, Mackay Private Hospital gifted Fitzgerald State School with a 'Buddy Bench' in support of National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.

Mackay Private Hospital along with 10 other private hospitals in the Healthe Care portfolio gifted 20 Buddy Benches to primary schools across Australia.

As one of Australia’s largest mental health providers, together we are taking action to empower students to rally together and unite against bullying and violence and promote positive conversations around mental health and wellbeing in schools.

Over 75% of mental health issues occur before the age of 25, it is our intention that Mackay Private's Buddy Bench will help students develop fundamental emotional skills they can carry throughout their educational journey and life.

MKY_BuddyBenchPres7.jpg#asset:2357PICTURED: Deputy Principal of Fitzgerald State School and CEO/DCS of Mackay Private Hospital

If a child or peer feels lonely, sad or is finding it difficult to make friends in the schoolyard, students are encouraged to sit on the Buddy Bench to signal to fellow students and/or Teachers to include them in their lunchtime play activity or friendship group.

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.

DSC_9176.jpg#asset:2356PICTURED: CEO/DCS of Mackay Private Hospital with children from Grade 1, Fitzgerald State School

Mackay Private CEO/DCS, Hamish Jeffrey hopes the introduction of the Buddy Bench will lead to long term benefits for students and their peers.

“Once a Teacher sees a student on the [Buddy Bench], they will be prompted to start a conversation around how they are feeling and give them some strategies on how to cope for the day.”

“If you discuss [mental health] early then you will have better coping mechanisms later in life,” says Hamish.

As one of our local primary schools, we are excited for Fitzgerald State School to be a part of this very important local schools initiative against schoolyard bullying for 2021.

Head to 7 News Mackay to view the whole story!

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7 NEWS COVERAGE: Mackay Private Hospital Buddy Bench