By Chelsea Carter
Individual impact. Community impact. By training youth and teachers in mindfulness techniques, the Crisis Centre is giving participants the skills needed to build stronger mental health and tighter communities that prevent the likelihood and severity of crisis.
Jennifer Aberman, a program facilitator and long-time practitioner of mindfulness at the Crisis Centre, believes that mindfulness strongly impacts participants because it gives them the ability to create a space for themselves in an ever-crowded society 0 the space to be creative, evolve, and connect with themselves and those around them.
“Through the sessions, kids and even the teachers are able to build connections and truly be themselves in ways that other facets of school like do not allow then,” Jennifer says. Learning how to develop this space for themselves in everyday life is a key took learned through the mindfulness course. Youth and teachers alike have noted how they’ve managed to use the tools to find calm in moments of seeming chaos (i.e. a loud classroom or disruptive home life), relieve stress before important exams, develop stronger bonds with they peers, and deepen understanding of their own emotional needs.
Jennifer says her own life has been impacted by the program. “Because each group is different and we tailor the program to their needs, it keeps me creative, present and connected to the kids in front of me.” Innovation, presence and connectedness are core parts of mindfulness and the skills learned through the program.
Jennifer has been a facilitator with the Crisis Centre since June 2017. She offers our Skillfully Responding to People in Distress workshops, which incorporate mindfulness tools to help people become more conscious in conversations, express themselves, and respond effectively to crises. She is a certified safeTALK and ASIST trainer.