The Positive Living Skills Early Childhood Wellbeing Program is launching in Parkes and Forbes, with thanks to NorthParkes Mines Community Investment Program. The team at Positive Living Skills has a big vision – to see the alarming and growing statistics around depression, anxiety and suicide drastically reduce within one generation.
They are moving one step closer to that vision now by launching their Positive Living Skills Early Childhood Wellbeing Program within the Forbes and Parkes communities, with support from NorthParkes Mines. Catherine Shaw, founder of the Positive Living Skills initiative and local Parkes resident, knows too well what mental health problems can do to communities.
“We have all heard about the rising rate of suicide, particularly in rural NSW, and we all know someone who has lost a loved one to such a tragedy,” she said. “Mental health problems do not discriminate, and people of all ages and backgrounds are at real risk. When I experienced my own struggles and went looking for help, I found these practical Positive Living skills in my late 40’s.
My immediate thought was, why don’t they teach this in schools? And so this journey began.” Cath Shaw is a woman on a mission; a mission that saw her form an alliance in 2012 with Dr. Terry Orlick PhD, world renowned performance expert and creator of the original Positive Living Skills concepts in Canada. Dr. Orlick is a global leader in the applied field of mental training who has dedicated over 40 years to researching the benefits and effects of positive living skills on children, young people and adults.
“I am very excited to see this Positive Living Skills Program launched in Australia and I support this program and the Positive Living Skills Australian team wholeheartedly,” said Dr Orlick.
“It is so essential to teach all children Positive Living skills from an early age, because when you think about it, the destiny of our world depends on how we support the youngest children of today.” Local psychologist Carly Fisher has also seen the benefits of the Positive Living skills program first hand. “I have seen first hand through my clients the positive effects that have been achieved via the initial pilot studies here in the Parkes Community, and I look forward to seeing this vital program reach broader communities,” she said.
As part of the latest round of funding supported by the NorthParkes Mines Community Investment Program, the Forbes Learning Ladder and Nurture One Victoria Street Children’s Centre will be the first in the area to get the opportunity to share the learning and resources with the children they serve and their families.
Raewyn Molloy, Director of Forbes Learning Ladder, has already experienced the PLS program during the product development stage “After participating in the PLS Early Childhood Program pilot in 2014 and seeing the children in our Centre benefit from the concepts and activities then, we are now excited to be implementing the final product and seeing the continued positive results,” she said.