iHeart youth curriculum

Presented by Bev Willcocks

In May this year I went to the UK to train in a youth-based curriculum, IHEART – Innate Health Education and Resilience training (http://iheartprinciples.com). Through the wonderful association and mentorship program L2G has with Good Hope Seminary High I have been able to facilitate this curriculum with a group of girls at the school. Once again Leon Linz, the acting head at the school has been wonderfully supportive. I hosted the initial sessions on Saturday 18 August followed by a follow up session on Friday 31 August with more to follow.

At its essence the curriculum is both simple yet profound and offers real hope for learners no matter what situation they find themselves in. We are taught in life about biology, science, geography etc, but nowhere are we taught about our psychological functioning, how the mind works and the implications of this in creating experience itself. The latter is the basis of the course. Over 6 lessons we look at our fundamental psychological functioning and then go on to apply this to our lives by looking at topics such as understanding bullying and bad behaviour; making sense of worry, stress and anxiety; appreciating difference; self-image and identity; using social media without it using you; the misunderstanding that drives addictive, habitual and compulsive behaviour; dissolving the barriers to learning and motivation.

The girls have been wonderfully engaging in the process and have had some great feedback. I asked the girls two questions:

1) How has this course impacted you?
2) If others have an opportunity to do this course what would you say to them.

This is what a few of them had to say:

• The course has helped me move on from all the things from my past. Now I can channel my thoughts to the present and future.
I would advise others to join the course because many people are like the ‘old’ me that was stuck in the past. It will really help them move on and focus on better things in life.

• It has made me aware that I always have a choice over my thoughts. I have become aware of my feelings and emotions.

• The course has made things come into perspective and everything in my life t make sense.
Show up because this course brings everything to the centre. It will make life make sense.

• The things I used to overthink and worry about I don’t worry about anymore.
The course helps you rethink the negative things you have in your life and how they affect you.

• I no longer make rash decisions. I think twice before I act because I understand that my feelings are not real and only caused by my thoughts, which constantly changes. If everyone was taught this then things like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc. wouldn’t exist.

A big thank you to Link2Grow and GHSH for making this experience possible. I have been so inspired and blown away by the participants and realise what potential our youth offers for a different future.