THE POWER OF EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH AND WELL-BEING PROGRAMMING
Our Wellness Leader Training is a train the trainer program for a selected group of students in your school. Students are trained in what it means to be a leader and taught skills and practices that will help them become an ambassador of wellness both inside and outside of the classroom.
There are a total of 6 modules of training rooted in:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Conscious Choice Making
- Taking Action: Goal Setting
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift! That’s why they call it the PRESENT! (Mindfulness)
Participants explore the concept of mindfulness, why it is important and how it can help us in our lives through concrete tools and strategies.
Objectives of The Mindfulness Module
- Personal – Youth have increased awareness and understanding of the techniques and benefits of mindfulness activities in relation to mental health and wellness
- Leadership – Youth gain the tools they need to support themselves and their peers
Core Learnings of The Mindfulness Module
- Awareness leads to focus
- Mindfulness can support our wellbeing in many different ways
- We are happier when we are in the present moment
ME before WE (Self-Esteem and Self-Worth)
Participants better understand where self-worth comes from (from within!) and learn tools to increase their self-esteem.
- Personal – Youth have a better understanding of self-esteem and how it relates to their confidence and presence in the world.
- Leadership – Youth have gained tools to support themselves and their peers in gaining self-esteem.
- Self-esteem is generated from within
- External validation does not actually improve our self-esteem/confidence
Emotions are OK and so am I. (Emotions)
Participants increase their awareness of their emotions and a tool to support participants in expressing emotions in healthy ways.
- Personal – Increased awareness of emotions, participants gain the tools to express emotions in healthy and appropriate ways
- Leadership – Improved self-awareness
- There is no such thing as a good and bad emotion
- There are healthy and appropriate expressions and unhealthy and inappropriate expressions of EVERY emotion – ALL emotions are important (unlearning that some feelings are “bad”)
- Everyone has the right to feel how you feel – it is not helpful to be told that you should feel a different way than you do
- Emotions are an important part of life, they are messengers of information and we do not need to shut them down, resist them or feel ashamed for having them
- Emotions Are Energy in Motion
- Emotional Awareness – bringing attention and awareness to our feelings
- Other people can’t make you feel something – you have a choice in how to respond to the world
- We are all unique and we will always feel different emotions and this is ok, own your own healthy expression of your emotions
I Make Choices Everyday. (Conscious Choices)
Participants learn about choice and have the opportunity to explore the outcomes of making choices and discuss why awareness of our choices can be beneficial.
- Personal – An improved understanding that everything we do is a choice
- Leadership – Enhanced self-awareness of the choices we make and how our choices impact others.
- Everything we do in life is a choice, and every choice made creates a different outcome – making conscious choices means being more aware of your actions and the impacts of your choices on yourself and others.
Learning to Lead (Leadership)
Participants have the opportunity to learn about their strengths and how best to operate within a team.
- Personal – Participants better understand themselves, their strengths and opportunities for leadership
- Leadership – Participants gain leadership skills
- Leadership can mean being the best that you can be in any situation and finding ways to contribute based on your strengths.
- Leadership is not about being the boss or being right, it is about figuring out how best to work within a team, and where necessary how you can step up and guide the actions of the team towards a common goal.
- Sometimes it is important to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone.
- Everyone has a unique skill set to offer to a project or a team, finding out what your unique qualities help you to feel more comfortable in taking on particular roles.
I share with my peers and I take action (Initiative Planning)
Participants are guided to develop their own personal wellness plan, determine their support network and are guided to apply what they have learned to the Wellness Initiatives planning and implementation.
- Personal – Youth develop and implement a personal wellness plan
- Leadership – Youth develop and implement a wellness initiative plan
- Understanding of how to apply what participants have learned to enhance the wellness of themselves, their peers and their community
School-Wide Student Lead Initiatives
Once the student training is complete, we shift our focus to the implementation of school-wide wellness initiatives. These will be led by the Student Wellness Leaders and supported by YWN facilitators. We continue to mentor and support these Wellness Leaders to implement anywhere between 2 – 5 initiatives picked from a list of 26 before the start of the program.
EXAMPLE: MINDFULNESS INITIATIVE
In the Mindful Minute Announcement Initiative, student wellness leaders educate the school on the topic of mindfulness and its benefits before running a series of one-minute mindfulness exercises over the announcements.
EXAMPLE: SELF-ESTEEM INITIATIVE
A twist on the candy gram, The Compliment Gram is an initiative that gives students the opportunity to send positive notes to their friends and teachers in order to boost self- esteem and self-love within the school.
EXAMPLE: EMOTIONS INITIATIVE
P.B.O.R. is a strategy taught during the student wellness leader training portion of the program as a strategy to acknowledge and express emotions. In the PBOR Challenge Initiative students will teach the school how to Pause, Breathe, Observe/Reflect, and Release their emotions in a healthy way.
EXAMPLE: CONSCIOUS CHOICE INITIATIVE
For the Information Wall: Good and Bad Choices initiative, students collect visual representations of the choices they make and the potential ‘good’/’bad’ impact that these choices can have. These are displayed for others to view and reflect on the choices they make in their own lives.
High School Student
Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts
My experience with the youth wellness network was a very enjoyable experience that I will never forget. The coordinator for the youth wellness network, Anastasia was very friendly, accepting and took into consideration the struggles we have as teens and self consciousness, stress, and the need for validation. In these workshops that many other students like myself and a few teachers like Ms. Lowe and Ms. Slocum. They thought us mindfulness, the importance of knowing our self-worth, how there are no good or bad emotions but it’s how we choose to deal and express them. It has been a great pleasure of mine getting to work with her and becoming our own youth wellness leaders.
I liked how other students and I got to use our own skills and be creative in our own ways. When it came to planning the wellness assembly, one half of the group and I got to speak for part of the assemble while the other half got to work on prepping for painting and mindful art wall which, I also got to paint and was very cool. I also liked how everyone in the group and I got to really connect within the struggles we all have within ourselves and really improve ourselves so we can be more confident.
I would love to do this youth wellness leadership again. I think that it’s important to educate the people around us the importance of mindfulness and self-worth. This is because we live in such a busy, fast paced society and sometimes we don’t always have the time to settle down even for five minutes and clear our minds so we can feel more refreshed to do whatever task we are doing. I would also like to do this again because this experience allowed me to be candid about myself and my own struggles I faced and allowed me to improve myself and my mental health.
THE POWER OF EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH AND WELL-BEING PROGRAMMING
In these interactive workshops, educators work on developing daily practices and strategies that can help boost their self-esteem and confidence, decrease stress, increase their energy and ultimately allow them to have more to give to their students in the classroom. Teachers will also learn simple strategies on empowered communication as well as increasing student engagement and productivity rooted in mindfulness and positive psychology.
Topics to Choose From:
1) Showing Up At Your Fullest Capacity: Self-Care and Self-Worth
2) Creating A Mindful Generation: Bringing Mindfulness Practices Into Your Lives Both In and Out of the Classroom
3) Listening to Understand: Empowered Communication
4) Emotional Intelligence: Supporting Healthy Emotional Expression
The Student Wellness Leader Training portion of our program for K-8 and middle schools consists of 6 modules: Mindfulness, Self-Esteem, Emotional Intelligence, Conscious Choices, Leadership and Taking Action.
SHOWING UP AT YOUR FULLEST CAPACITY: SELF-CARE AND SELF-WORTH
Now more than ever, the demands on teachers are higher to constantly be showing up for their students and giving everything they’ve got throughout the day. But one of the hardest things to do is to always be giving and never making time for receiving. Unfortunately, this pattern of endless giving without time to recharge ourselves often leads to repercussions such as increased stress levels, exhaustion, dissatisfaction in daily tasks and more severely, burn out.
This workshop was created to provide teachers with simple and practical tools and strategies to not only understand the concept of self-care but to learn to implement these practices into their daily lives. We provide a straightforward three-step process that allows teachers to mentally, emotionally, and physically rejuvenate and restore themselves back to full health as well as sustain this level of vitality enabling them the capacity to show up for their students and themselves on a regular basis.
The workshop also includes a manageable blueprint for how teachers can incorporate this process into their daily lesson plan so that their students can embody what the teachers are modeling as well.
CREATING A MINDFUL GENERATION: BRINGING MINDFULNESS PRACTICES INTO YOUR LIVES BOTH IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM
We live in a time where there is so much distraction and mental stimulation that it has become increasingly difficult to be present in the moment and focused on one task at a time. The job of a teacher requires so much energy output that it is oftentimes very challenging to be present when needed the most.
Through simple and practical tools and strategies, this workshop will help teachers learn how to calm and slow down the mind, increase their self-awareness, and decrease their stress levels while increasing their ability to focus. It will provide a manageable blueprint for ways that mindfulness and self- awareness practices can be brought into the classroom to help support the creation of a more mindful generation.
LISTENING TO UNDERSTAND: EMPOWERED COMMUNICATION
No two people can see the same situation in the exact same way. Yet as humans we have this unconscious obsession with proving ourselves right and subsequently proving others wrong.
This Workshop is designed to provide teachers with communication strategies that will help Empower their students to discover their own voice and step into their full potential. Learning how to listen to understand and communicate from empowerment and ownership will provide a safer space for students in and out of the classroom to feel heard and understood.
Teachers will be given a clear and concise blueprint on how to incorporate these philosophies and strategies into the daily lesson plan empowering their students to make more positive, healthy choices.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: SUPPORTING HEALTHY EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
Emotion is simply energy in motion. Our emotions are meant to move through Us in 30 seconds or less, however, as we grow older we tend to rationalize, judge, or even justify what we are feeling and why we are feeling it, and this prevents the emotions from being expressed in a healthy way.
This Workshop was designed to teach teachers simple strategies rooted in emotional intelligence to deepen their understanding of the power of our emotions and how we can support students in learning how to express themselves more authentically.
Anthony Hack, Principal
Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute
During the 2018-2019 school year, the Youth Wellness Network ran a full day workshop on the topic of staff well-being. I received very positive feedback from staff with many commenting that it was the best PD that they have ever received. The strategies shared were very concrete and the presentation was informative, interactive, engaging, and meaningful.
THE POWER OF EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH AND WELL-BEING PROGRAMMING
In these informative workshops, parents will learn strategies and tools on how to empower their families by improving communication, decreasing stress and increasing energy, self-care and self-esteem, authentic role-modeling, listening to understand instead of to respond, and empowered communication to help parents restore communication and repair connection in the modern family.
Topics to Choose From:
1) Filling Your Own Cup: Self-Care and Self-Worth
2) Creating A Mindful Generation: Mindfulness at Home
3) Creating Conscious Communication in the Family
4) Cracking the teenage code
FILLING YOUR OWN CUP: SELF-CARE AND SELF-WORTH
In this presentation we share tools and strategies on self-care and self-worth and how important it is for parents to take the time to fill up their own cup first, opposed to the common notion to fill it last or not at all. As a parent, one of the most difficult things is to find time for yourself and genuinely use that time in a way that actually helps restore your energy. It is of the utmost importance to become a walking example of what we want to see in our kids!
The first step is learning how to make self-care not just a practice but a lifestyle and how to ensure that you are loving, respecting and validating yourself first because the more that you give to yourself the more that you have to show up for others. Parents will walk away from this workshop with a simple 3 step process to fill up their cup mentally, emotionally, and physically so they can show up at their fullest capacity for themselves, their kids, anyone else in their lives.
CREATING A MINDFUL GENERATION: MINDFULNESS AT HOME
In this presentation, parents learn how mindfulness and the practice of being more present can help decrease stress levels and increase energy so that they can become less reactive and more proactive in all your relationships.
We share the benefits of mindfulness and meditation while walking parents through the process of developing a simple and easy personal practice that can also be shared with the rest of the family. With this information, parents can begin to empower their kids to become more mindful and self-aware.
CREATING CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION IN THE FAMILY
In this presentation, we share tools and strategies on how to use the power of perception to get a better understanding of what your kids are going through and how to communicate and interact with them in a way that supports more conscious and open communication in the household.
Parents will learn that an important part of communicating is not just how you speak but also how you listen and how the process of listening to understand can very quickly shift the dynamic in their relationship with their kids to create a safe container for everyone to feel heard and supported.
CRACKING THE TEENAGE CODE
In this presentation we share tools and strategies on how to use the power of perception to get a better understanding of what your kids are going through and how to communicate and interact with them in a way that supports more conscious and open communication in the household.
Parents will learn that an important part of communicating is not just how you speak but also how you listen and how the process of listening to understand can very quickly shift the dynamic in their relationship with their kids to create a safe container for everyone to feel heard and supported. There will also be time for Q&A at the end of the presentation.
Joel Gorenkoff, Principal
North Toronto C.I.
On behalf of my school community I want to thank Michael Eisen and the Youth Wellness Network for the opportunity to partner with them in a vital endeavour. There is no more pressing issue in education than student physical, social and emotional wellness. We are indebted to Michael for helping us make wellness a year-long initiative and an important part of our whole school program and culture. Our Wellness Leader Training and Break Zone / Stressbuster programs have helped many students become happier and more successful. Thanks so much.