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Though official data is some way off, there is little doubt that anxiety and social isolation have spiked during the current public health crisis. To help mitigate the impact on mental health, Iris Foundation has developed a new Connections 2×2 Workshop for students 9-14 years of age.

These workshops aim to foster resilience, hope and connections among young people. These are the pillars that Iris Foundation is built on and that researchers have identified as key protective factors that contribute to good mental health.

The format is as follows:

• Two 120-minute sessions held over consecutive weeks, during school hours
• Three experienced Connections facilitators and a support teacher guiding around 20 students selected by the school
• Each session includes a mix of creative projects and group discussion

For more information about these workshops, please click here.

Ten local schools will benefit from Connections 2×2 Workshops thanks to the generous sponsorship of Wyong Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank.

Tree of Dreams

The Tree of Dreams is an annual campaign to raise awareness of suicide prevention on the Central Coast. The campaign recognises the impact of suicide, and works to create conversations about mental health in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day, 10th September.

Each year, the Tree of Dreams, situated at the Wyong Milk Factory, is adorned with hundreds of messages of HOPE – STRENGTH – REMEMBRANCE – SUPPORT collected from people across the region. The tree has become a memorable tribute to those we have lost, but also a positive display of hope and support to remind us all to encourage life and reach out to each other when times are tough.

To find out more, visit: https://treeofdreams.org.au/ or https://www.facebook.com/IrisTreeOfDreams

Iris Foundation has also remained in close consultation with our community partners as they begin to assess the mental health impacts of COVID-19. Demand for services has spiked, with needs likely to evolve quickly in the weeks and months ahead.

For now, the board and staff of Iris Foundation extends our best wishes to our supporters and their loved ones. Stay safe, healthy and connected.

Help us reduce the risk of suicide

To make a tax-deductible donation in support of mental health on the Central Coast, click here.

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