Youth access worker Ebony and community engagement
officer Kris Cousins from headspace Wonthaggi. A04_4821

Keegan Edwards and Chuck Taylor with comedian Marcus Ryan. A03_4821

A COMEDIAN, youth service representatives and an aerobics instructor visited Wonthaggi Secondary College to promote student wellbeing.

The year 9 group learned about the youth services offered by headspace Wonthaggi, got their blood pumping in the gym and listened to comedian Marcus Ryan outline his journey through anxiety and depression.

While there was a serious side to the day, the aerobics workout to upbeat music and some humour from Mr Ryan ensured plenty of light-hearted moments.
headspace focuses on the whole person, helping those aged between 12 and 25 years keep on top of their mental and physical health.

It also provides support to manage work and study.

The service is available for those facing challenges presented by alcohol and other drugs.
headspace Wonthaggi also runs various youth programs and activities, and has a couple of youth-friendly doctors on hand each Wednesday.

All headspace services are free.

Community engagement officer Kris Cousins said schools are an ideal place to engage with people who can benefit from headspace’s services.

“It’s really just letting them know that we’re here, and this is why you can come in and use the service,” Ms Cousins said.

Linda Edwards of Voyage Fitness got the students moving, with Cara Moschetti and Marli Box among those loving their session of aerobics.

“It was really fun getting upbeat and getting into it,” Cara said, describing the music as “doof doof”.

“I think it’s good for people who need to get their mind off something, and it’s fun,” Marli said.

Mr Ryan found comedy a useful tool as he dealt with depression and anxiety.

“It was a way of coming out of my shell and communicating better,” he said.

He believes that, by finding a passion in life and focusing on what makes you happy, you will be a happier person.

Being kind to yourself is also important the students heard.

“Today we’ve been talking about self-compassion and learning to let go of things and not bottle things up,” Mr Ryan said.

Originally from Wonthaggi, he found some of the young people listening to him were the children of his former classmates.