A Year of Awakenings!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on here, so it’s well and truly time for an update. It’s a bit of a cliche to say it but I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my big research tour in 2013. Much has happened in that time… Most significantly, the birth of my little angel, Ruby. What an inspiration she has been for me already. In and around discovering the joy of motherhood (and, oh, what a joy it is! She really is the most precious gift!) I’ve completed some great follow on work from my tour.

It was my pleasure to work with the Pastoral Care Team from the Catholic Education Office in Wollongong on the Diocesan Suicide Pre, Inter and Post Vention Guidelines. This resource is a credit to the Pastoral Team and, undoubtably, one that will save lives. They did a fantastic job on what is an extremelly comprehensive document. I was asked by the team to do the keynote presentation at the launch of these guidelines – it was an honour to be a part of this day. I focussed my words on the the importance of assisting young people to find their life’s purpose, their vocation, whatever they define it to be – and then to assist them to live that life ‘on purpose’: to live by design, to live intentionally, with a strong sense of direction and that strong feeling of suitability for whatever contribution they are called to make in their life.

In the past 12 months I have broken down all of the research I completed and put together a package of ‘GateKeeper Training’ Modules to be delivered in schools to assist those working with young people:

a) to be more confident in picking up the signs of depression and suicidal ideation

b) to develop the necessary skills to respond proactively and effectively

c) to link young people with mental health professionals who can give them the therapeutic support they need

These modules were put together based on the training package designed by Rich Lieberman from LA (who you would have read about in my previous blogs). I’ve already conducted this training with the staff at John Therry and plan to roll this out at a range of schools in 2015. More information can be obtained by clicking on this link: gatekeeper training flyer

The next big news is the upcoming release of my novel ‘Awakening Sebastian’. This is a redemptive and hope filled young adult book, aimed at promoting healthy dialogue on the topic of suicide in young people. The manuscript is going through the final editing process and will be published and released early in 2015. If you would like to preorder the novel please contact me through the ‘contact me’ page on the site.

I am so truly grateful for the experiences I’ve had over the past year and I can’t wait to take these learnings and really try and make a difference in schools through the dissemination of my findings. More to come!!

Cheers,
Donna

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