Teaching our youth how to cope with tough times
I Am Mindful

Teaching our youth how to cope with tough times

New mental health initiative revamps the way we teach young people how to cope with times of high stress and anxiety.

Founder of I.A.M, Stephanie Silver.
Founder of I.A.M, Stephanie Silver.

AS calls to crisis lines for self-harm increased in both NSW and Victoria earlier this year, young women aged between 15-19 became the most likely to see the inside of an ambulance after self-harming, as well as for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, according to recent figures.

Striving to reduce this concerning trend, community member Stephanie Silver, 28, who faced a personal battle with mental health issues as a young person and spent six years researching mental health and wellbeing at university, created I Am Mindful (I.A.M.).

The new initiative aims to teach young people, their teachers and their families proactive, evidence-based coping strategies for better management of their mental health, including how to reduce self-harm during these uncertain times.

During her studies, Silver collected data from more than 300 young people which she said revealed that while many struggle with managing their mental health, our youth are eager to learn how.

“When we’re extremely distressed we just want our pain to go away,” she said.

“If we don’t know how to cope skilfully in those moments, we can be tempted to cope in unhealthy ways that are problematic for us – that damage our relationships, make the situation worse and aren’t in line with our long-term goals and values.”

Silver’s new venture, which she funded through her savings, aims to help young people build these skills by providing mental health toolkits, guided self-coping videos, instruction guides and school programs that have been designed to engage all touch points of a young person’s support system.

As part of the initiative, I.A.M provides a free box to every young person under the age of 25 admitted to The Melbourne Clinic – Healthscope Hospital’s Young Person Emotion Management program. The box includes a range of sensory items designed to assist with emotion regulation and managing potentially problematic impulses and behaviours.

The company has partnered with the clinic to research the initiative’s effectiveness and is also working with a number of schools, and expects to extend this list in 2022.

Silver holds a degree in Commerce/Advertising (RMIT), Master of Entrepreneurship at the University of Melbourne (First Class Honours) and is a Positive Psychology Practitioner at the University of Melbourne, as well as a registered Mindfulness teacher.

For more information, go to iammindfulco.com.au or contact Stephanie Silver at hello@iammindfulco.com.au or 0402 183 100

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