IN­SIGHTS ON CHILD HEALTH

Top child psy­chol­o­gist here to help

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE - Amani Vas­sil­iou Amani.Vas­sil­iou@chin­chillanews.com.au

WHILE the kids of Chin­chilla may have been en­joy­ing a pupil free day on Mon­day, a spot­light was be­ing aimed at the health of their minds and bod­ies.

Lead­ing Aus­tralian ado­les­cent psy­chol­o­gist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg was in town to give timely in­sights into child psy­chol­ogy and stu­dent de­vel­op­ment.

As the res­i­dent par­ent­ing ex­pert on Chan­nel 7’s morn­ing shows, Dr Carr-Gregg boasts a list of best-sell­ing books to his name and a his­tory of in­volve­ment with or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Reach Out and beyondblue.

Chin­chilla State School head of cur­ricu­lum An­drew Dixon said Chin­chilla was lucky to wel­come him to their small town.

“Hav­ing an ex­pert of his cal­i­bre com­ing out to talk to us and give some in­sights into child psy­chol­ogy and stu­dent de­vel­op­ment is a re­ally a great thing for Chin­chilla, we are very lucky,” Mr Dixon said.

Around 180 staff from the six schools in the Chin­chilla clus­ter at­tended ses­sions on the day, with a fur­ther 150-160 par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers at­tend­ing in the evening.

Dr Carr Gregg spoke on a va­ri­ety of is­sues, from lift­ing re­silience in chil­dren, bul­ly­ing, cy­ber bul­ly­ing, stu­dent well-be­ing, healthy minds and healthy bod­ies.

Mr Dixon said the ses­sions were “in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful” and gave ev­ery­one in­for­ma­tion ap­pli­ca­ble in a prac­ti­cal set­ting.

“Dr Carr-Gregg was an ex­tremely en­gag­ing speaker and re­ally got peo­ple on his side through the sto­ries and anec­dotes that he shared.

“He also pre­sented some data-based in­for­ma­tion that was very sur­pris­ing.”

“He shared that one in four Aus­tralian kids un­der the age of 12 are be­ing stalked, ha­rassed, and abused on­line.

“He also pressed the im­por­tance of healthy eat­ing, sleep and ex­er­cise in chil­dren.”

Par­ents were en­cour­aged to en­sure their chil­dren bal­anced screen time with “green time” and that their diet in­cluded Greek yo­ghurt, oily fish, blue­ber­ries and eggs.

Mr Dixon said the ses­sions were re­ceived pos­i­tively by staff and par­ents alike.

PHOTO: AMANI VAS­SIL­IOU

COM­MU­NITY NIGHT: Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and An­drew Dixon with school cap­tains Archie Hart, Alice Iver­son, Nathan Rollings and Nikita Wil­son.

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