Our Workshops

Connections 2×2 Resilience Workshops

Though social distancing measures have relaxed, the mental health impacts of COVID-19 are still being felt by local families, especially those with children. Parents, teachers and community organisations are reporting widespread anxiety and disengagement. People are finding themselves in need of additional support, many for the first time in their lives.

To help address these additional needs, Iris Foundation has developed Connections 2×2 Resilience Workshops.

Program format is as follows:

  • 2 sessions of 2 hours duration, held over consecutive weeks
  • 18-20 participants in each group
  • Led by 3 trained and experienced facilitators
  • Includes an engaging mix of creative projects and group discussion
  • Week 1 session focuses on personal identity, skills, strengths and values
  • Week 2 session focuses on coping strategies, problem solving and gratitude

Workshops are currently being piloted in selected Central Coast primary schools, but format can be readily adapted to the specific needs of other demographic groups.

Desired impact

The Cool Connections 2×2 Workshop aims to increase each participant’s resilience by:

Boosting self-esteem and confidence: Young people engage in creative projects that encourage them to explore their own identity, values, unique gifts and positive personal qualities.

Connecting isolated young people: Participants meet in a relaxed environment, supported by facilitators who are trained to manage strong emotions and personality conflicts.

Identifying strategies: Participants explore their feelings, thoughts and emotions that are linked to anxiety and stressful times and are guided through problem solving strategies.

Opening support pathways: The atmosphere of trust and safety created in each session promotes self-expression and allows participants to feel accepted without judgement. This facilitates appropriate follow-up care such as counselling referrals, discussions with parents and caregivers, additional classroom resources or referral to future Cool Connections in School programs.

Creating a positive ‘ripple effect’: Increases in confidence, connectedness and problem-solving abilities for participants often indirectly benefits their family, friends, teachers and the community.

Thank you to our major workshop supporter:

Wyong Community Bank Branch Bendigo Bank supports Iris Foundation

To find out more about workshops, please contact:
Sue Liptrott

We would like to thank our major supporters: