"Despite schools increasing their focus on wellbeing in young people; over the past 10 years, teen anxiety, depression and mental health issues have continued to rise. Having adults tell teenagers how to solve their problems hasn’t worked. We need to find something that ‘speaks’ to our teens and offers them simple ways in which they can help themselves. The Open Parachute Programme does this. It is different to any other programme I have worked with. Rather than listening to adults talk about how teenagers can improve their mental health, Hayley asks teenagers who have had difficult experiences to talk to the students. The challenges that they discuss are real and their stories are told sensitively and honestly. Most of all, the focus is on how to young people can improve their own mental health rather than relying on adults to do the solving for them. While we are still in the early stages of using the programme, already my students have responded positively to the stories and suggestions. I believe that Hayley has found the key to helping our teens and I know that it will make a positive difference to the lives of our young people."
The Sebastian Foundation is proud to support this ground-breaking school program that aims to make a difference in the mental health of adolescents, helping them to understand and survive issues such as low self-esteem, trauma, abuse, bullying/friendship difficulties, addiction, eating/body image issues, depression /anxiety, loss/grief at an extremely vulnerable time in their lives.
Through a Foundation program, ‘Girls who Glow’, we came into contact with Dr Hayley Watson, a clinical psychologist with a PhD in bullying interventions from Macquarie University.
Hayley has been creating and delivering intervention programs globally for the past 15 years. Her program, Open Parachute, has a research partnership with Columbia University and is being implemented in the UK and USA and is currently being rolled out in schools across Australia.
Originally designed for in-school use, the program has been adapted so it can be effectively integrated into a distance education program.
You can find more info on this incredible program at openparachute.com.au
Book an appointment for your school with Dr Hayley directly here.
It costs $30 to put a child through this program in schools, so every $30 amount donated to The Sebastian Foundation here will enable us to put another Aussie kid through the program. Our aim is to put 10,000 children through this program through 2020 - 2021.