Pilot run with Year 8 students at a Victorian High School
In February 2014 I was asked to meet with a group of 8 year 8 girls of whom 80% of them were engaging in self harm. All girls suffered with anxiety and low self esteem. They were students that were spread across several different classes and were not in a friendship group with one another members, often they were isolated from class members. Self esteem was low and family breakdown was prevalent including engagement with Child Protection.
Over nearly two terms I ran the Path of Life program with them. After the initial two or three weeks three other year eight students approached me to join the group, because the others had shared what was happening and how it had helped them.
Focusing on values and life skills empowered these young women as evidenced by the pre course and post course evaluations. They developed a small community of friendship, trust and acceptance. They continued to encourage and show empathy to one another in weekly gatherings. They were encouraged to know that they were worthwhile and that developing values and beliefs strengthened them in the face of all they had to endure. I would highly recommend this program as a tool to build resilience and self confidence in young people. Jill Mahar, Chaplain
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