MacKillop is committed to supporting communities in NSW that have been devastated by the recent bushfires, drought and now the effects of COVID-19. In many of the affected areas, we have spoken with community and school leaders, mental health and wellbeing teams and community members regarding the impacts of these events and what effect they have and will have on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Seasons for Growth (SfG) is an Australian evidence-based and trauma-informed programs.
SfG is delivered to small groups of children and young people over eight weeks. The program is based on the belief that change and loss whilst painful, are part of life. The program supports participants to understand their experience and manage their grief following ongoing uncertainty and major change and loss experiences. To further strengthen the program, in 2020, MacKillop worked with SfG author, Professor Anne Graham (Southern Cross University) to develop a COVID-19 adaptation to ensure critical wraparound support for students at risk of mental health issues associated with the pandemic.
MacKillop will deliver program training to community-based facilitators which will enable them to deliver the program to children and young people. Facilitators can be local teachers and professionals or provided by MacKillop if required. We will support the preparation and logistics of the program delivery, supervision of facilitators and ensure formal evaluation is rigorously implemented. MacKillop will also provide workshop sessions to help adults process the loss and change they have experienced and help them safely and appropriately respond to the needs of the children and young people in their care.
Waratah Education Foundation part funded a program coordinator who will work with educators across NSW to identify school communities that would benefit from delivering a COVID-focused adaptation of MacKillop’s Seasons for Growth (SfG) program to students.