Resilience Project

Delivering emotionally engaging programs and providing evidence-based, practical wellbeing strategies to build resilience.

Introducing The Resilience Project

Throughout 2022, we will be working closely with The Resilience Project to support the wellbeing of our school community. 

The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs and provides evidence-based, practical strategies to build resilience.

Our Partnership Program consists of online presentations and weekly lessons for students, professional development for staff, and Parent & Carer Hub (inc. digital presentations) for our parent and carer community.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing the Parent & Carer Hub with you. The videos are 5-10 minutes long and will walk through the key pillars of resilience: Gratitude, Empathy & Mindfulness. You’ll hear stories and be introduced to activities to show how these strategies can support our kids’ learning and development, and also support you as parents and carers.

This program is an important part of our school’s effort to look after the mental health of our community.

Parent & Carer Hub
Resilience Project - Mount Clear College

Meet Hugh and learn about The Resilience Project

In this presentation, Hugh shares a personal experience about his sister’s battles with Mental Illness.

Note: This video contains a story about an Eating Disorder that may be triggering. Please consider this before watching. For mental health resources and support information, visit The Resilience Project’s Support Page.

We will be in touch fortnightly to share the remainder of the program, including research and wellbeing activities to integrate into day to day life.

Watch video

Key Pillars of Resilience

This program is an important part of our school’s effort to look after the mental health of our community.

Gratitude

Gratitude is paying attention to the things that we have right now, and not worrying about what we don’t have. We practise this by noticing the positives that exist around us.

Research shows that practicing gratitude rewires our brains to overcome the negativity bias (which can lead to anxiety and depression) and see the world for what we are thankful for. It is also shown to broaden thinking, and increase physical health through improved sleep and attitude to exercise.

View Part 2 of the series below – Gratitude

There are many ways in which you can practise gratitude, including starting a Wellbeing Journal. In the image below are a few ideas to get started.

Source: Psychology Today

For mental health resources and support information, visit The Resilience Project’s Support Page.

Watch video

Empathy & Kindness

Empathy is our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others to feel and see what they do. We practice this through being kind and compassionate towards other people.

Brain imaging data shows that being kind to others registers in the brain as more like eating chocolate than like fulfilling an obligation to do what’s right (e.g., eating brussel sprouts)!

Research shows that practicing empathy, such as performing acts of kindness, taps into our brain’s ‘mirror neurons’, builds compassion and our behaviour becomes more social and community-based.

View Part 3 of the series below – Empathy 

Here’s an activity to practise empathy and kindness:

  1. Reflect on someone in your life who could benefit from an act of kindness today. It could be a friend who would love some affirmation about their work, your pet who deserves an extra treat, or a family member who would love a phone call or text message.
  2. Make a plan for who you are going to give an act of kindness to, and what you are going to do.
  3. If you want to add accountability to your plan, share it with someone else and encourage them to do the same thing.
  4. Follow up with each other in a few days time, to ask how it went!

Sources: Psychology Today, UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science

For mental health resources and support information, visit The Resilience Project.

Watch video

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is our ability to be calm and present at any given moment. We practice this by slowing down and concentrating on one thing at a time.

Thousands of studies have proven benefits include reduced stress, reduced rumination, increased memory, increased cognitive function and physical health benefits through improved immunity.

View Part 4 of the series here – Mindulness 

Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation, yoga, flow-states and daily activities such as cooking.

Source: UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science, American Psychological Association

For mental health resources and support information, visit The Resilience Project’s Support Page.

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Emotional Literacy

Our ability to label our emotions, which helps us to soften negative emotions and find positive emotions. We practise emotional literacy by labelling our emotions as we experience them.

Happy. Sad. Confused. Excited. Scared. There are so many feelings that you can feel at any given time and all of them are perfectly normal. But being able to recognise and label those feelings as they happen can mean they don’t affect you so much over time.

Summary

In the final part of The Resilience Project’s digital series, Hugh shares an important message about allowing our children to experience adversity.

The key to building resilience in our children is allowing them to experience failure, hardship, disappointment etc. As parents, we can be too quick to resolve our children’s challenges which can deprive our children of enormous growth opportunities. These typically happen when we experience failure and uncertainty. As parents we should be there for our children when they fail, but not fight their battles for them.

View Part 5 of the series here – Summary

Parent and Carer Hub (Hugh)

You can also stay up to date with The Resilience Project news and events by signing up to their Newsletter.

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Parent/Carer FAQ

Why is resilience and wellbeing important?

  1. Children who are not well emotionally will not be able to learn. When we are stressed the part of our brain
    responsible for learning does not work.
  2. Calm children can focus and retain more information.
  3. Resilience enables children to take safe risks without fear of failure.
  4. The statistics indicate that the number of adults struggling with mental ill health has increased over the years.
  5. Statistics also tell us that mental ill health is affecting youngpeople at alarming rates and the onset is getting earlier. Prevention is the key to seeing these figures improve

Why and how is this relevant to curriculum?

  1. The Resilience Project curriculum has been produced to align with Victorian and Australian Curriculum standards and frameworks.
  2. The Resilience Project curriculum addresses aspects of achievement standards in the Personal and Social Capabilities learning area and the Health and Physical Education learning area.

How much time does the program take?

  1. Each lesson is designed to run for approimately 60 mins and there is between 20 and 30 lessons per year level.
  2. Each school will introduce the program in a structure that works best for your individual school community so there may be some variance in the overall time taken.
  3. It is our hope that the themes covered in our formal curriculum become an ongoing focus throughout the school.

What does this program look like classroom? What will my child be doing?

  1. Your child will complete a variety of activities that introduce them to the Resilience Project key pillars of Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness.
  2. The activities will give them a chance to practice these concepts, individually and in groups.
  3. Children will be encouraged to develop habits of practising these concepts on a daily basis outside of the lessons. You can play a big role in supporting this.

How do parents/carers do the program too?

  1. The Resilience Project 28 day and 6 month journals are available through the website.
  2. The Resilience Project app is also available on iTunes and Google Play.
  3. We encourage you to ask your kids about the program and how they are integrating Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness into their life. You may want to replicate activities in the home.

What is gratitude, empathy and mindfulness? Why these?

Gratitude is defined as being thankful for what you’ve got. Empathy is thinking about what others are feeling. It’s about being kind to others.

Mindfulness is bringing your attention to the present moment. It builds awareness of thoughts, emotions and surroundings, as well as a sense of calm.

There is a wealth of supporting academic research on the mental and physical benefits of these strategies. More information can be found on the References & Reading section of our website.

Is there a best time of day to practice gratitude, empathy and mindfulness?

These are strategies that can be practiced any day, at any time of day.

If these concepts are new to you, building a routine to practise them can support wellbeing. Picking a time of day – for example first thing in the morning, or after dinner – can be helpful to create a new habit and give structure to your wellbeing journey.

My child has a diagnosed mental illness. Will this interfere with/ replace our current supports/strategies?

The Resilience Project schools program is a prevention-based program and will not replace any formal treatment your child may be accessing.

The Resilience Project schools program should not cause any interference with your child’s current plan in fact the strategies your child learns will most likely benefit them. However, we would encourage you to let your child’s mental health professional know that they are completing the program at school and seek their guidance on this.

Likewise it would also be helpful if you let your child’s teacher know about your child’s plan (if you haven’t already) so that the teacher can keep an extra close eye out.

I'm concerned my child may be experiencing mental ill-health, where can I go for help?

The Resilience Project is not a treatment or assessment service.

If you are worried about your child;

  • Speaking with your General Practitioner is a great place to start.
  • The School wellbeing team may be able to assist you with local support services that work with young people.
  • Websites such as beyond blue and headspace have some great information also.
    • Beyond Blue
    • Headspace
  • Further mental health resources can be found on The Resilience Project website.
Support