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Free resource helps youth wellbeing

Free resource helps youth wellbeing

The Mackillop Institute and Southern Cross University’s Centre for Children and Young People have created a free resource to help youth manage the pandemic’s impacts.

The Seasons Toolkit: Riding the Waves of Change is an evidence-informed learning resource that draws on key aspects of the Seasons for Growth program which teaches young people to adapt to change and loss.

Director of the Centre Professor Anne Graham, who is partnering with the institute, said children were not the main focus of concern in the pandemic’s first wave.

“Little attention was paid to the ways it was impacting their lives,” Graham said.

“With the second wave, we now have growing evidence internationally about the social and emotional impacts on children and young people.”

Graham said the reality for many children is that their voices go unheard amid community and family trauma.

“The most important thing we can do is acknowledge their reactions and equip them with the confidence and skills to voice their experiences, manage their feelings, make good choices, set goals and reach out for support,” she said.

“This is the essence of resilience and skills they need for life.”

The toolkit is available for all middle and secondary schools in Australia with a version for primary schools currently being available soon.

Seasons for Growth Manager Fiona McCallum said the resource was developed after hearing parents’ and educators’ concerns about the pandemic’s interruptions and its impacts on young people’s wellbeing.

“The experience of the pandemic has been unprecedented, and the changes and uncertainty have been ongoing for children, young people and adults alike,” McCallum said.

“Everyone’s experiences have been different; however, we have all been required to adapt to the changes and we will need to continue to do so for some time to come.”

McCallum said there was still hope for young people struggling during these times.

“We also know that young people are more likely to adapt well given timely and appropriate information and support,” she said.

“Teaching professionals frequently report the value of the training and understanding the experience of significant change and loss for children and young people.”

For more information visit The Mackillop Institute website.

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