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17.06.2016

Wolfdene helps Cranbourne West students build resilience

Wolfdene is helping improve the mental health of Cranbourne West Primary School students.

Wolfdene has given funding to Cranbourne West to engage renowned wellbeing provider The Resilience Project to teach positive mental health strategies to students, teachers and parents.

Wolfdene's General Manager of Community Engagement Eivion Bowen said the program was designed to benefit kids from all backgrounds. 

“The statistics tell us that 1 in 4 adolescents and 1 in 7 primary school children have a mental illness, so we’re very passionate about improving their coping skills and enabling them to better manage particular issues they may face, or any of the challenges life throws at them,” he said. 

“The Resilience Project is ideal because it provides teachers and students with practical ways of developing these skills. The lessons are designed to engage kids through the use of film, books, stories, drama and other activities.”

The Resilience Project founder and key presenter Hugh van Cuylenburg says the program is based on both his own experiences and current studies.

"Research indicates that the key pillars of gratitude, mindfulness and empathy help mental health, and those things have worked for me, for my family and for kids in developing countries that I've worked with,” he said. 

"I don't talk about anything that's not based on research, and I don't talk about anything that I haven't experienced myself, because people relate to stories," he said.

This message, which has been delivered to more than 220 schools, plus corporate organisations and sporting clubs (he works with all the NRL clubs and several AFL clubs), has reached more than 150,000 people.

Cranbourne West Primary School Principal Andrew Bergmeier said the school was delighted to provide the program to students, which incorporates an initial presentation, curriculum-based activities and a follow-up talk to engage parents.

“We’re thrilled to be able to help facilitate a program that focusses on developing positive mental skills,” he said. 

“Building traits such as resilience, gratitude, empathy and mindfulness can have an enormous impact on student wellbeing – both within and outside of the classroom.

“We’re grateful to Wolfdene for providing the funding for this program and their strong support of the Cranbourne West students, staff and families.”