Our community at Harristown High School is excited about having a GP to provide a service to students one day each week from 2022 until the end of the trial, mid-way through 2024.
While the GP program provides support for the range of general health issues experienced by young people, it is fitting that this announcement comes in Mental Health week, given the increase in mental health issues experienced by our young people in the course of their everyday lives, not forgetting the impact of COVID in recent times.
With more than 1800 students attending, our population is extremely diverse (culturally, linguistically, those with disabilities, first nation people) with a number of our families coming from small communities on the outskirts of Toowoomba. This can make accessing a doctor quite difficult at times as parents/carers do their best to support their children when finances are stretched more and more.
Ideally we would like to provide wrap around support for our students, working with parents/carers, the range of support staff and community organisations as well as a GP to help our students feel well and feel supported so they can achieve their best academic outcomes, no matter what path they choose.
Practically we see our students benefitting from being able to have basic hearing and vision checks, being able to access referrals to specialists and being able to access Mental Health Plans to name only a few of the foreseeable benefits.
Our students recognise the advantages for themselves as they say ...
'It will be easily with the GP at the school.'
'It will help to speak to a doctor about my general health.'
'I'd like to be able to talk about a private matter to someone I trust.'
'It will be cheap if we can bulk bill.'
This is a great program and we are grateful to be included in this new initiative.
Helen Parker, Deputy Principal