The Domino Effect - Youth Supporting Youth
The Domino Effect - Youth Supporting Youth Project
This youth initiated project is a follow-on project from the Tweed Mental Health Awareness - Family Fun Day. Over the 6 years the TMHA - Family Fun Day was held, the number of youth involved in the planning, presentation and overall involvement grew each year.
A youth support group was initiated with Tweed Mental Health Awareness and is a project under the umbrella of St Joseph's Youth Service as the auspicing organisation. Our group consists of young people 12-24 years of age. The young people named the group 'The Domino Effect' as they made a connection between the effects of bullying and the domino effect which can lead to youth mental health & suicide amongst our young people. 35 young people have participated in our Youth Support Group, Creative Arts, Education & Fundraising Activities throughout 2013.
A few statistics about the young people in our Support Group:
40% of our young people in the group are young carers for a parent or sibling with mental health issues or a disability;
57% of the young people experience their own mental health issue (depression, anxiety, self harm, depression, bipolar);
65% live with a parent or sibling with mental health issues;
15% of the young people attended the group to learn how to support a friend, wanted to raise awareness or for the creative activities.
All of our young people have been effected by bullying. All of our young people have known 1 or more young persons who have ended their life through suicide. Many of our young people are living with at least 3-5 of life's most stressful & challenging situations - including:
Family breakdown; financial hardship; homelessness; domestic violence; child abuse; alcohol & drug use; severe illness, mental health or disability within the family;
Youth homelessness; bullying; learning or behavioral difficulties; sexual assault; peer pressure; drug & alcohol use; young carers; own mental health issues; struggling at school - socially, emotionally, scholastically & behaviorally;
Since attending The Domino Effect Youth Group, our young people have:
Gained the confidence to speak out about their experiences and a variety of ways to reach out & ask for help;
Reached out to peers, family and professionals for additional support;
Through group discussions and educational workshops have explored and demonstrated enhanced coping strategies, each of them exploring other strategies while coping with life's challenges and crisis situations - within their family and personal life.
They are learning to identify their own along with members of the groups strengths and resilience. This is enhancing their inner-strength, positive self esteem and confidence. Along with assisting to focus on positives and possibilities.
Through education, discussion groups and support we are empowering the young people to mange their own health - emotional, physical and mental wellbeing,
Many of our young people have connected with external support networks and services - including youth support workers, psychologists, family and carer support along with health and recreation services.
Through our creative and expressive art experiences our young people are exploring and expressing their inner emotions, life experiences and encounters with mental health issues.
Educate the youth on 'The Domino Effect' of how one's behavior, actions & words effects those around them.
Some of our older young people have stepped up to take on leadership, mentoring, support roles & even tutoring their younger peers. I am hoping to develop this further with training and skill development to assist them in their leadership and mentoring roles.
Enhance their young people's resilience and protective factors - by assisting them to set goals, develop life skills and coping skills - enhancing their inner strengths, confidence, and problem solving skills.
Provide community education and awareness activities for 2014 Youth Week and at local community events.
Tweed Mental Health Awareness - Maria Breene Ph: 0435377258 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
St Joseph's Youth Service - 0755891800 Jason Taylor Ph: 0407240964 E: email@example.com