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Open Parachute

"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."

Ms Terry Matthew
Head of Wellbeing – Programmes
Mentone Grammar

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.

It usually costs $30 per student per year for a school to implement this program, and The Sebastian Foundation provides funding support to allow schools to access this critical learning by removing any financial barriers.

Open Parachute recently brought their core mission statement to life by announcing their commitment to matching our contribution by subsidising the program by 50% for schools that The Sebastian Foundation supports through the program in 2024.

So, we can now support schools that implement the program at just $15 per student, meaning your donations will now have even more impact by reaching twice as many students!

Thank you Open Parachute for sharing our commitment to building confidence and resilience in as many Aussie students as possible.

You can find more info on this incredible program at

Book an appointment for your school with Dr Hayley directly here.