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Teenagers and Wellbeing

Teenagers and Wellbeing
Teenagers and Wellbeing

Adolescence is a critical time for the development of social and emotional habits crucial for sustaining positive emotional wellbeing.

These habits encompass adopting healthy sleep patterns, engaging in regular exercise, honing coping mechanisms, problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal skills, as well as mastering emotional regulation. Various factors can impact mental health during adolescence. The greater the exposure to risk factors, the more significant the potential effect on mental wellbeing. Stressors during this growth period may stem from adversity, peer pressure to conform, and the exploration of identity. Additionally, the quality of familial relationships and peer interactions play a crucial role.

When young people think about wellbeing, they may participate in self-care; listening to music, exercising, face-care routines, and other such activities that on the outside appear to be designed to help us feel good or look good. These activities can often be an attempt, by young people, to meet the standards set by social media and other social norms within school and friendship groups, creating more pressure than emotional benefit.

Being a young person is often a challenge, brain changes, and hormone imbalances leading to mood swings, all whilst trying to find a sense of belonging in an ever-changing playing field amongst peers. This can be emotionally exhausting. When research from the World Health Organisation states that one in seven, 10-19 year-olds, experience a mental health disorder (2023), it is time to reflect on the importance of nurturing environments within the family structure, school, and wider community. Safe environments which offer opportunities for connectedness and social and emotional growth are essential for young people to develop the skills for emotional self-care. This begs the question, are we doing enough to meet the needs of young people, within such a demanding and ever-changing global context? This is why, at the Australian Independent School (AIS) we strongly believe that we are a crucial part of a much-needed support system for families moving to and living in Jakarta.

AIS offers a comprehensive wellbeing programme placing its students at the heart. Our wellbeing services in High School have a strong focus on Restorative Practices. This means that we focus on relationships and empower students to understand their behaviours and mistakes, recognising the impact their choices have on others. These practices ensure that our students build strong conflict-resolution skills and are able to take responsibility for their actions and understand their own behaviours. This often means that negative behaviours are not repeated and relationships are strengthened through dialogue, compassion and understanding.

These practices contribute to an emotionally healthy school environment where our students become upstanders and are able to challenge injustice in positive ways, increasing their ability to think critically and create opportunities for dialogue to explore their values in a safe, inclusive environment.

Social and emotional skills are essential for students
Social and emotional skills are essential for students
Social & Emotional Thinking Classes

This is a values-based programme which tackles the issues impacting young people in a global and local context. The year-long courses are designed to equip students with the skills needed to make healthy choices, handle strong emotions and learn how to express themselves openly and honestly. Students learn to regulate their emotions by increasing self-awareness, empathy and resilience, all the skills necessary to develop a growth mindset. Combine this with our restorative practice philosophy and we have positive and measurable results which support a healthy school community where students can thrive, ultimately demonstrating heightened academic readiness, and opening the doors to the potential of increased academic attainment.

Student-Led Programmes

A huge factor in the success of our wellbeing systems is that we view students as part of the solution rather than from a deficit perspective. We have numerous student-led initiatives offering multi-faceted support to our school community, attempting to ensure that no one feels unsupported or unsafe at AIS.

Wellbeing In High School – Family Support

At AIS, we understand that international communities can be transient and strengthened family relationships are important for students to thrive. To ensure the best support for our students, we encourage ongoing communication with families regarding well-being. Our dedicated Wellbeing Coordinator and School Counsellor are accessible to parents and ready to collaborate and address the needs of both students and families.

Wellbeing and young people is a complex issue that we, at AIS, believe is the responsibility of all of us. Equipping students with the language of emotional literacy and the skills to handle adversity and truly understand themselves can lead to a greater sense of wellbeing.

Maybe it is better for the students to say it for us:

“The SET and wellbeing programmes at AIS allowed me to grow into a different person, granting me with skills that I would not have if I were at any other school. Over the years, I have been able to understand the social and emotional attributes of myself and others, allowing me to have a sense of responsibility towards my own wellbeing.”

Through the wellbeing programmes at AIS, every student is valued, respected, and given equal opportunities to thrive academically and socially emotionally, creating a culture of acceptance and understanding.”

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