Educators, families and children in rural and remote towns across western NSW are more resilient and empowered thanks to a new initiative being rolled out in early learning services.
Last week the Positive Living Skills initiative travelled to the drought-affected communities of Broken Hill, Bourke, Weilmoringle, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Menindee, Wellington and Forbes.
They gained access to the Positive Living Skills Early Childhood Well-being program which is designed to support them to build long-term positive habits for emotional well-being.
The programs has already been successfully embraced in Primary Schools in Broken Hill, Menindee, and Wellington.
Spending many years living in Parkes and other rural locations, Positive Living Skills founder Cath Shaw has experienced rural life first hand and knows how hard people work and how difficult it is for some communities.
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She made it her mission to help support the mental well-being of Australian communities and the initiative is going from strength to strength with over 60 educational sites across Australia now calling themselves Positive Living Skills members.
Ms Shaw travelled across the western NSW last week with Positive Living Skills Early Childhood Specialist Hailey Chant.
She said the reception has been really positive within the communities with many educators excited about the services.
Both hope that the program encourages children, their families and educators to speak more openly about their emotional well-being.
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"This program is really true prevention. This is about supporting and building habits for well-being," Ms Chant said.
"It really does start at that early level because we're teaching them to tie their shoes, to count, hold a cup... if children are learning all of those skills at a young age why can't they be learning social and emotional skills? It's the most crucial time to be teaching them those skills," Ms Chant added.
The initiative was supported by the Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN).
For more information about the Positive Living Skills initiative, visit www.posiitvelivingskills.com.au