My new job

I mentioned that I had a new job, and promised to tell you all about it.

I’m working two days a week on short term contract with a NGO delivering a high school program produced by a crowd called beyondblue. They are the national leaders on the forefront of research, education and treatment programs for depression sufferers and do amazing things to help people.

I’ll be spending most of my time with year 8 students working them through a curriculum designed to give them resilience when it comes to mental health. Statistics are showing that around 4% of teens have diagnosable and treatable depression at any given point in time, and one in five will have an episode by the time they’re eighteen.

So far I’ve been meeting with High School Principals. Some are interested in running it, some maybe not (they have to bump something off their existing curriculum to make room for us).

While I’m not really enjoying canvassing schools, I’m hoping that I enjoy working with the kids, although I’m a bit worried that it might turn out to be more of a crowd control exercise. Time will tell. I am passionate about helping people get help so I’m really hoping the work energizes me and isn’t draining. I have been a bit anxious, that I won’t get the results that my employer is looking for. I haven’t really had much responsibility for the last fourteen months and am a bit wary of it. I’m trying to monitor my anxiety levels and be mindful. I call it my zen.

I’m still working on the tomatoes one day a week though – it keeps me anchored and I love the physicality and the stress-free environment.

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2 Responses

  1. Jack

    Sound like a fabulous activity to be doing. Offering teenagers help with problems that can darken their whole lives. If you can focus on what you can do to make life easier for the principal you’ll find it much more enjoyable canvassing them – Love your neighbor is a simply the best sales technique.

    I suspect the school principals are hard nuts to crack, as they have many, many people trying to offer them all sorts of solutions. I’m no expert on selling in this situation but I would suggest finding a coach (someone who likes the product and will promote it to the decision maker from inside the organisation) would make it a lot easier. You could consider running a seminar for interested teachers on depression amongst students — teachers who attended would be a good source of coaches.

    No mention of the firewood project, don’t tell me its gone on the back-burner.

  2. Great advice on working with the schools. I do intend to contact the social working and guidance counselors and keep them in the loop, but will definitely get them to advocate for me as well.

    Firewood? I’ve got a stack of wood here that I’ve been chopping up and stacking. I love it! Chopping wood to heat the home is primal. It anchors me to my humanity 🙂

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