Back in Term 1 of the 2021 school year, the Family Life Creating Capable Communities (CCC) Team joined with Youth Services and Hastings Primary School in an effort to establish support within the school community and build coping strategies. Through the Map Your World program, Family Life worked with students to identify what issues they would like to tackle.
As part of this process the students started to unpack their experiences of COVID-19 and its impact on families. Some of the issues raised were increased pressures, more incidents of conflict and family breakdowns. It was a safe environment for the students, where they were free to express themselves without judgment.
This group of students named themselves the ‘Hastings Heroes’, and wanted to build resilience in themselves, and their peers, that would result in wellbeing to those around them. This led them to design a Youth Forum.
The Youth Forum took place in Term 2 to support the wellbeing needs of the Grade 6 students in three different Primary Schools. They also had to consider Covid Safe measures in the logistics of this event.
The activity on the day was to build capacity in young adolescents on how to manage stress and their worries. This enabled them to devise strategies to increase protective factors if they were faced with challenges of lockdowns or experienced prolonged side effects of school closures. Topics covered mindfulness, psychosocial education, sleep hygiene, body signals, how to identify support groups, and self-seeking behaviours.
Due to COVID-19 requirements the event capacity was reduced, despite this 92 individuals were still able to participate (86 students and six adults).
This event took place in partnership and consisted of Headspace, Mornington Peninsula Shire Youth Services, School Focused Youth Services, Schools and Family Life.