By Amanda Murthy
Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Student Services Team Leader Jacqueline Reid has recently been honoured a Winston Churchill Fellowship.
The awards this year honoured 14 WA professionals and were established in 1965 in memory of Sir Winston Churchill for the purpose of honouring everyday Australians who are passionate about challenging the status quo to create or make a positive impact on society.
Ms Reid was chosen for her continuing investigations into integration of therapeutic intervention for mental health and well-being in schools.
With more than 30 years of experience working with marginalised and vulnerable children and young people from diverse backgrounds, Ms Reid expressed her gratitude for winning the award, adding that her win serves as an acknowledgement to the importance of mental health and well-being in our communities.
“I am so glad the Fellowship will align with the work I do at CEWA in supporting schools as a Team Leader for the School Psychology Team and the Consultants for Disability, two teams that provide quality services and programs for Catholic schools across WA,” she said.
Ms Reid cited she will travel to the United States of America, Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom focussing on three key areas.
“I want to examine and identify the policies and system processes that support mental health and wellbeing these countries, what the government focus, funding and priorities are for mental health, and what roles the schools play,” Ms Reid stated.
“On a whole school level, I will be identifying the processes and resources that are used in schools for promotion, prevention and early intervention in tackling mental health.”
With the aim of conducting further research into the issues surrounding mental health in children and young people, Ms Reid said she hopes to find out about the training available for schools and how parents and carers can be better supported.
“At the individual school level, I want to know what therapeutic intervention is available to support individuals or groups of students and how effective it is.”
When asked about her future goals, Ms Reid said she will return to CEWA after her travels to use her knowledge to focus in further enhancing the Trauma Informed Schools project in WA.
“The CEWA project has earned national recognition and to date has been incredibly successful with schools learning the impact that complex trauma can have on learning, brain development, social-emotional responses, behaviour and relationships,” Ms Reid added.
“I would also like to lead in a cross education sector project to examine the policy and whole school practices that could be put in place to support school communities in mental health and well-being.”
When asked to provide advice to others chasing their dreams, Ms Reid said that when a person is passionate about something and believes in what they do, good things do happen.
“Everyone wants to make a difference to the lives of others and everyone can”.
“We just never know the impact we have sometimes and it doesn’t have to always be the big things. A smile to someone we don’t know may cheer their day, especially if inside they are carrying a secret sorrow.”
“Walking in Jesus’ footsteps can be our inspiration too, and asking what Jesus would do allows us to aim high and with a heart filled with love and a belief in the dignity of all people,” Ms Reid concluded.