ALYSSA Edwards had only just arrived at her new school when her father was tragically killed in a truck accident.
Fortunately for Miss Edwards, that new school was Staines Memorial College, which was quick to support her during her challenging time.
As a new student, the teen said she was overwhelmed by the help and care she received from staff and students at the Redbank Plains school.
"Not only did the school help me deal with the situation, they even helped my family out with the funeral and the wake," she said.
Now a graduated school captain, Miss Edwards recently shared her story with an audience in Canberra during a special award ceremony.
The event was to recognise Staines Memorial College as one of 13 MindMatters schools to be nationally recognised for their work on student wellbeing.
MindMatters is a national mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention initiative that is available free of charge to every Australian school with secondary enrolments.
The presentation was made to schools in Australia which had embraced the MindMatters program and used it to help build school culture and support systems to improve student outcomes.
Staines principal Norton Sands said Alyssa's story was one of many examples of how the MindMatters framework was used in the school.
He said the school worked to ensure all members of the college community were treated with respect and their needs sensitively addressed.
Through incorporating the MindMatters approach, Mr Norton said their school had seen continued improvements in students' attitudes and efforts.
For more information on MindMatters visit www.mindmatters.edu.au.