MindMatters for Students & Families

  • Welcome
  • 'Tuning In To Teens' Parenting Course




A very warm welcome back to the new school year to all our SPX families.  Once again, we look forward to providing confidential, emotional and social support and guidance for your son and family throughout this year.  Let me introduce our College Counselling Team and relevant contact information for your safe-keeping.

Mr Rick Russo

Counsellor (Full Time, Monday to Friday) working with students across all year groups. 

Email:  rrusso@stpiusx.nsw.edu.au               

Direct Phone:  9414 4359

School Mobile (in case of emergency):  0418 438 325

Mrs Joe McCarthy

Psychologist (2 days a week, Wednesday and Thursday) working with students across all years.

Email:  jmccarthy@stpiusx.nsw.edu.au

Direct Phone:  9414 4322

Mrs Judy Gill

Psychologist (2 days a week, Monday and Tuesday) working with students across all years.

Email:  jgill@stpiusx.nsw.edu.au                    

Direct Phone:  9414 4322


Throughout 2018 the Counselling Team, together with the Learning Support Team, look forward to providing CONFIDENTIAL support to assist your son to build his SELF CONFIDENCE/SELF ESTEEM and RESILIENCE within a caring, supportive, Catholic school community.  Please do not hesitate to make contact with any of the above team should the need arise.

Positive Mental Health & Wellbeing for Students 

Building your son’s resilience and encouraging him to use his strengths and talents

RESILIENCE … it’s a familiar word, isn’t it?  But what does it really mean?

When we talk about resilience we’re talking about a student’s ability to cope with ups and downs, and to bounce back from the challenges they experience during late childhood and adolescence – for example moving home, changing schools, studying for an examination or completing an assessment or perhaps, sadly, dealing with the death of a loved one.

Building resilience helps students not only to deal with current difficulties that are a part of everyday life but also helps to develop the basic skills/habits that will help them deal with changes later in life during adolescence and adulthood.

Most significantly, RESILIENCE is vital for a student’s positive mental health.  A student with greater resilience is better able to manage stress, which is a common response to difficult events.  Stress is a risk factor for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, if the level of stress is severe or ongoing.


Let me briefly share a few of the possible ways your son can learn to build RESILIENCE at SPX.

BOXERCISE is held every Thursday and Friday morning at 7.30am in the Junior School playground.  This MindMatters initiative provides friendship, fun and fitness to strengthen students’ resilience and general sense of wellbeing.  Classes are free to all students.



This photo is from our Boxercise Program’s peer connection initiative at the end of Term 4, 2016.  As part of this program, students from Years 5 to 11 (aged between 10 and 17) participate in our early morning before-school class with the young ladies from Mercy Catholic College in Chatswood.


We will aim to repeat this across-school peer connection at least a few times each year with the hope that increased students, both boys and girls, can meet together in a safe and supportive environment, and focus on their health and well-being.

In times where more students are turning to technology to connect with one and other, this program seeks to bring students together to improve their physical and emotional well-being which in turn improves their mental health … it’s a winner and a no-brainer !!

MENTORING:  This one-on-one student support program is now in its sixth year at SPX.  It is a wonderful buddy program where a senior student (Year 11 or 12) volunteers to provide a younger student (Year 5, 6 or 8) with a listening ear and a close supportive relationship built up over time.  Students meet weekly at lunchtime and are given the additional opportunity to participate in the teacher-led activities of rock climbing, trampolining, kayaking, beach/bush walks, paddle-boarding at Balmoral.  Limited spaces are available and preference is given to students who are new to the College.  Please note that the first MENTORING ACTIVITY, Rock Climbing at Artarmon, will be held early in March.


For further details on either Boxercise or Mentoring, please contact Mr Russo by either phone or email as per details above.

'Tuning In To Teens' Parenting Course

5 Session Parenting Course for Parents of Teens

Would you like to learn how to:

  • Communicate effectively with your teenager?
  • Understand your teenager?
  • Help your teenager with emotional intelligence and managing emotions?
  • Prevent some teenager behaviour problems?
  • Teach your teenager to deal with conflict?

Below is a flyer for the next Tuning in to Teens course in Chatswood starting 6th March and also a flyer that includes both the Chatswood and Brookvale groups for families who may prefer to attend in Brookvale.



Mr R Russo - College Counsellor