Proserpine State High School students Will Ventura, Cooper McBride, Maddie Paroz and Holly Perrin with former North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player Ray Thompson.
Proserpine State High School students Will Ventura, Cooper McBride, Maddie Paroz and Holly Perrin with former North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player Ray Thompson.

Timely message of resilience for Prossie students

THROUGHOUT his footy career, Former North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player Ray Thompson has had his fair share of challenges from injuries to devastating losses.

However, his infectious positivity and ability to bounce back were among skills shared with students at Proserpine State High School today during a workshop with The Resilience Project.

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys partnered with the project to help build resilient and positive school communities throughout the state, with yesterday's workshops one of around 20 taking place across North Queensland.

Students watched on as partner in The Resilience Project Martin Heppell took them through the foundations of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness via video.

Mr Thompson also shared the trials and tribulations of his own career as part of the program and hoped his story would help demonstrate to students the importance of bouncing back from difficult times.

"For us it was about implementing a positive mental health strategy to kids and schools in North Queensland," he said.

"At the end of the day everyone's going to be faced with failure, everyone's going to be faced with adversity and everyone's going to have a traumatic event in their life, and so for us it's about how we teach people to respond to that."

The school ran three sessions for students from different year groups as well as a session for teachers.

Principal of Proserpine State High School Don McDermid said the sessions were just the beginning of a four-year long program where the foundations of The Resilience Project would be integrated into the classroom.

"We've always had a strong program in our school to support students, and we know students now are facing more challenges than ever around wellbeing and mental health issues so it's been a real conscious effort of the school to invest more in this area," he said.

"This program also helps us package all the different things we do in our school around wellbeing and supporting students with wellness.

"There's been a real target on student resilience, and we feel that the pillars within The Resilience Project will allow us to really mould that and shape that whole school approach."

The program was broken down into a range of videos that taught students mindfulness techniques and strategies.

Year 7 student Maddie Paroz said she used mediation as a tool to help with her thinking process and the workshop helped her look at other mindfulness strategies.

"I really liked that because the mindfulness helps with your breathing and gets you under control," she said.

Year 8 student Cooper McBride also said the workshop helped him understand mindfulness and he hoped to use music as a way to wind down.

The session also pushed students to think about what they were grateful for.

Year 8 student Holly Perrin said doing this gave her an opportunity to stop and think about those around her.

"It just made me realise how important people are and how lucky we are," she said.

Year 7 student Will Ventura also enjoyed the mindfulness aspect of the program and hoped to bring it into his routine.

"It taught you to be thankful for what you have and not be sad for what you don't have and to appreciate the little things," he said.


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