2020 was a difficult time for all Australians, with the pandemic causing students and teachers to adapt to new ways of learning, maintaining connection and providing support.
For the classes of 2019 and 2020, school was anything but ordinary. Those transitioning from high-school to additional study or full time-employment have had their usual support structures disrupted, leaving them in need of more support than ever before.
The Old Ignatians’ Union is proud to have partnered with men’s mental health charity, The Banksia Project, to introduce the ‘School Leavers’ program. This program will guide high school graduates as they transition to life beyond school; providing the community support they need to feel confident in their next chapter.
According to Jack Jones, The Banksia Project’s Program Director, “COVID-19 has led to one in four young people reportedly feeling isolated and unsure about the support options available to them. The turbulence during this period of life is unpredictable and challenging, so it’s important for them to learn coping strategies so they can confidently move forward.”
Conducted virtually, the program consists of monthly group sessions of up to 10 participants. These sessions feature tailored modules, designed by mental health professionals, to suit the needs of school leavers, including building resilience, coping with anxiety and/or loneliness and communicating safely and effectively with others. All sessions are free for students to register and attend and provide a safe, judgement-free space where they can talk openly, maintain connection with their peers and strengthen emotional intelligence.
Importantly, each session is led by two of the school’s Old Boys who have volunteered to be trained by The Banksia Project to ensure they can safely guide and support their peers. Not only have these Old Boys recently experienced leaving school, but they will also provide recent graduates with strong role models into their future.
To sign up for a group, please visit https://thebanksiaproject.org.au/ignatius/