PLC will be the first Western Australian school to deliver a dedicated health and wellbeing centre with programs aimed at preventing mental illness and promoting mental health when it opens its doors in 2018.

Named the PLC Lighthouse, the primary purpose of the centre is to provide a state-of-the-art facility for staff to deliver the Health and Wellbeing Australian Curriculum. 

PLC Principal Dr Kate Hadwen said latest research showed one in every four young Australians had a mental health condition such as anxiety and depression.

 It also indicated schools that offered wellbeing programs to staff and students enjoyed an average 11 per cent increase to student academic outcomes.

“This is a revolutionary centre, the likes of which has not been designed anywhere in the world. It brings together important research findings to deliver programs in a purpose-built facility that promotes wellbeing and assists students in developing skills for life,” Dr Hadwen said.

“Just like students studying science should have access to Bunsen burners and running water, students studying health and wellbeing should have access to all the tools necessary to prevent mental illness and support wellbeing.”

Dr Hadwen said when it opened students would have their health and wellbeing classes in the PLC Lighthouse’s purpose-built learning areas. 

“These functional spaces will facilitate the delivery of the curriculum in ways Australia and the world have only before dreamed would be possible,” she said. “It’s an exciting representation of adapting to meet the soft skill requirements future employers are seeking.”

Dr Hadwen said the Lighthouse would also have a contemporary gymnasium with ergo rowers, treadmills and cross trainers available to all students, staff, parents and the wider PLC community. 

“A dedicated strength and conditioning space will be created to support injury prevention, which complements the training regime already being undertaken by our students in all sports.

“A movement room for fitness classes, providing the girls and the PLC community with access to programs to improve flexibility, strength, balance and general fitness.

“One office space will be leased to an allied health professional. This is likely to be a physiotherapist.”

“An entire floor dedicated to mental health with a fully resourced library and spaces that support the development of important skills for life such as active and passive meditation practices.”

Cooking classes would also operate out of a kitchen with surrounding gardens being designed by the PLC Environmental Club, similar to a community garden but on a smaller scale.

Programs and presenters would be engaged throughout the year to deliver classes such as first aid and self-defence, along with speakers on topics related to the curriculum, for example, drugs and alcohol.

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