Developing Resilience

ArushaTimes News

Within the context of COVID-19 social dynamics, JKCS staff recognize the need to add learning experiences that strengthen our students’ ability to cope with the impacts of common and unique challenges. Students in grades 6 and up are learning about mental health issues and strategies they can use to strengthen their capacity to be resilient under stress.
One of the programs teachers and EA’s are using is the Open Parachute Mental Health Program. This resource addresses matters of stigma surrounding mental health issues and encourages help-seeking within a culture of mutual support and respect.

The Open Parachute program was developed by clinical psychologist, Dr. Hayley Watson. It is a video-based resource that provides opportunities for students to learn practical mental health skills valuable for navigating challenges and stressful experiences.
What do the teachers of our grade 7 and 8 students say about the program?
“Open Parachute is a valuable resource. The videos feature real students talking about their life experiences and they generate themes for discussion. My students are quick to make comments about the stories shared by the students in the videos and the program has generated good conversations both in small and large groups. I have also found Open Parachute a helpful tool to refer to in some Christian Studies classes. We are currently studying a unit on relationships within a study of Biblical themes in Song of Songs. The Open Parachute curriculum supports our Christian Studies discussions about how to develop healthy relationships.”

Dr. Watson, quoted below, is inviting JKCS families to access the resource she created for parents.
“I developed this resource because I want every child to learn practical mental health skills. This program aims to build a strong foundation of resilience so that your child can learn to trust in their abilities, relate to their own feelings in a healthy way, and change any unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns that may hold them back at any point in their lives.
Conversations that started in the classroom can also continue at home. If you and your child would like to explore these topics further, I’ve created a video-based resource for parents which can help guide these discussions. If you have any questions at any point during the program, I am happy to speak with you directly to further support the well-being of your child.”

If you are interested in exploring the Open Parachute content created for parents, click on the link here. The link will take you directly into the program and the parent’s home-support video series.
May the Lord bless our JKCS families as we partner toward nurturing strong mental health outcomes for our students, your children.
Wendy Perttula
Director of Curriculum and Learning