Guy Sebastian's 'Open Parachutes' mental health program has commenced in a number of Riverina schools, following his social media reach out to Member for Murray Helen Dalton back in May following a string of teenage deaths in the region.
The Australian singer runs the program through his own charitable organisation, the Sebastian Foundation, and offered it to local schools free of charge.
Students from grades 5-12 from five schools in the region have already signed up including the likes of the Western Riverina Community School, Saint Francis de Sales Regional College, Verity Christian College with more currently midway through discussions about how to best implement the program in their school community.
"It really is an initiative that we support and believe in so strongly," foundation manager Rebecca Oxenbould said.
After information sessions were held a few weeks ago, the first schools have begun the program which we can be completed as quickly or as spread out as teachers set fit.
"We have nine hours of programming modules for students to engage with," Mrs Oxenbould said.
"Open Parachutes uses film and shows school kids other kids their age who are are going through some of the same things they are."
This includes custom documentaries to inspire students to engage in honest dialogue about their own wellbeing and covers issues like bullying, body image, grief, anxiety and depression.
Mrs Dalton previously told The Area News that the offer to cover the costs of running the program in local schools was 'wonderful'.
According to the Sebastian Foundation, the 'heavy lifting' is done by the program and teachers are given supporting guides to facilitate further conversations surrounding mental health within the classroom.
And for any schools that are still interested in participating, the offer is still open says Mrs Oxenbould.
"Open Parachutes is easy to implement, and was developed with a raft of great psychological theory, just reach out to the Sebastian Foundation online."
More information on the program can be found here.
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