Improving Wellbeing, Mental Health & Resilience in Education

Creating safe & healthy environments for student success

16 - 17 Sep 2019Crowne Plaza, Auckland
Event Details
separately bookable workshop
Front Liners in education - building a culture of wellbeing and respect
18 Septermber 2019 | 9.30am-12.00pm
Educators are not trained for many of the difficult situations they find themselves in. Whilst it is imperative that educators act to include appropriately trained professionals at the right time, the realities of their days mean they are often the first person to encounter a potentially worrying situation. Therefore, they we should consider them to be front liners.
Using a team of professional theatre practitioners, this workshop will develop shared understandings of mental distress and offer novel strategies for building meaningful verbal and non-verbal connections. Our overarching aims are to promote a creative wellbeing orientated approach to mental distress which challenges discrimination and works towards forging social inclusion.
Mind Over Manner will seek to introduce participants to a range of considerations that affect people with sensory and cognitive difference and mental distress.
  • Understanding sensory processing difference
  • Observing & understanding divergent thinking, deciphering language and behaviour
  • De-escalating destructive self-preservation and defence behaviours
  • Recognising & deconstructing conflict behaviour cycles
  • Developing new techniques and strategies for recognition of meltdown and post meltdown recovery responses
  • Improving awareness of the continuum of harming, self-injury and mental distress and the varied ways this may be exhibited by those affected.
  • Establishing how and when schools should act when a problem is spotted - who to involve and at what stage?
  • How staff can be informed and trained to play their appropriate role
  • Recognising the negative stereotypical societal responses to these “behaviours”
  • The importance of review, self-reflection of your response and peer support alongside these processes

Part One

A comprehensive and engaging guide to identify sensory and cognitive processing differences in our young people

Socially most of us instinctively know how to adjust our manner - to gain acceptance and feel understood, to make friends, and to navigate social situations.

There are many different ways of seeing, hearing, and communicating in this world. For people who experience sensory processing differences ordering priorities or meeting expectations often results in what appears to be confused or oppositional behaviour. Usually, compliance can be brought about by way of a tap on the shoulder and this is sufficient for individuals to fall into line. But what if you don’t recognize the line, feel the tap, or understand that scowl? 

Mind Over Manner utilise our extensive experience in neurodiversity education to deliver a signature workshop designed for parents, whanau, teachers, counsellors, and professionals in health, youth, and justice fields. In this interactive workshop our experienced facilitator works alongside four professional theatre practitioners to provide participants an insider view of living with sensory or cognitive processing differences. Exploring these real-life scenarios, this workshop challenges participants to unpack, evaluate, and reimagine their responses to challenging situations. Together, we explore new strategies for working with students who think, learn, and behave differently.

Part Two

A practical guide to identify survival, defense and self harming behaviors – what to look for and when to act 

We are all aware there is a significant increase in teenage anxiety, self-harming, youth alienation, teenage runaways, and youth suicide. We recognize the behaviours exhibited by those experiencing mental distress result in exclusion and unequal status in a society which pathologises difference.

This workshop will explore the deleterious effects of pre-existing thought patterns surrounding mental distress: anxiety, altered perspectives, displacement, self-harm, and isolation. We explore how conflict cycles are further exacerbated by society’s poor response to mental distress.

Participants in this workshop develop an understanding of mental distress which is consistent with a human rights approach and removed from the realms of pathology and dysfunction. The workshop explores the power of language in working through mental distress, the significance of communication, and techniques for engaging in meaningful communication which aren’t always verbal.

Susan Haldane

Creative Director

Mind Over Manner

Susan directs and facilitates with a professional team of theatre practitioners who are dedicated to the study of human difference and behaviour. Susan has worked as an actor, director, singer and teacher over the last 30 years. Her work has focused predominantly on youth and their development of social confidence and flexibility. Susan has facilitated theatre workshops with refugees, multicultural and differently abled groups, in schools, prisons, with legal, medical and other professional groups and with kids on the street.  Susan applies her understandings from Reclaiming Youth International USA and Ruku Po, New Zealand- a leadership initiative that responds to the chaotic complex and as yet unknown challenges of our time.  As a result of all this combined experience, and as a parent of a young adult with ASD/ADHD Susan has developed her own extensive knowledge of the cognitively diverse individual and what their specific needs may be. As these children have reached adolescence, Susan has also come to recognize the increasing needs of the parents, care givers, family teachers and other professionals who are in close contact with these students. The strength and stability of these people, as Front Liners in their interactive role is a fundamental contributor to the positive development of the youth.

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