Welcome to Awaken Youth
As an experienced Workplace Trainer, Teacher and Student Wellbeing Coordinator, the founder of Awaken Youth, Donna Redman, is deeply passionate about the work teachers and professionals do for the students in their care. She has a long passion for wellness and the promotion of mental health, particularly in young adults. In 2013 Donna was awarded a NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarship funded by the Anika Foundation, which enabled her to put together an international study tour itinerary to research proactive strategies for the prevention of depression and suicide in young adults. This opportunity changed Donna’s career direction and she used her research findings to contribute to the work currently being done to prevent suicide in children and young people.
Awaken Youth Pty Ltd was officially launched in 2015 as her research identified the need to train teachers and develop their confidence in talking with students about suicide, as well as recognising protective factors, risk factors, warning signs of suicidal ideation and strategies in how to have safe conversations with young people. Using the research findings she had collected internationally, and in collaboration with Rich Lieberman MA, NCSP (suicide prevention expert and former Head of Suicide Prevention for the Los Angeles Unified School District), Donna designed a series of NESA Accredited Suicide Prevention (Gatekeeper) Training Workshops, specifically for teachers and parents. These workshops are modeled on training from the Region 11 K – 12 Student Mental Health Initiative: Suicide Prevention Enhancement Project, administered by CalMHSA. The goals of this initiative are focussed on identifying emerging mental health issues (such as suicide prevention) and matching them with evidenced-based programs and model practices, then providing training and education. The workshops have been adapted to suit the needs of the current Australian school context.
Since launching Awaken Youth, Donna has delivered workshops to teachers and parents at a huge number of schools and venues around Australia and New Zealand. She is also trained to deliver the Livingworks safeTALK Suicide Alertness workshops and presents this training to senior high school students.
Further, Donna has presented safeTALK Suicide Alertness workshops in a range of community and corporate venues across NSW.
Wander over to the testimonials page and have a read of some of the amazing comments from workshop participants. This is truly important work.
Donna has also presented her findings at the 2015 Suicide Prevention Australia Conference in Hobart and the IEU Women’s Conference in 2016. In 2017 Donna delivered workshops across Australia as a presenter at the Positive Schools Conference, which travelled to Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney. Donna has been featured on ABC radio, the Sydney Morning Herald and local Macarthur media. This year, Donna has been invited to deliver a workshop at the ProPsych Mental Health in Schools Conference. Donna is a member of the Macarthur Suicide Prevention Network and has worked for Lifeline as a Crisis Supporter, assisting callers who ring to access this service.
On our site you will find a wealth of information on youth mental health and suicide prevention. The menu will direct you to information on Gatekeeper (Suicide Prevention) Training Workshops for teachers, as well as information on safeTALK for community, corporate and senior high school students. You will also find a range of resources and Donna’s book, Awakening Sebastian, a novel targeted at youth, which contains a strong preventative message regarding suicide. Should you have any questions or like to get in touch with Donna, please select the Contact Us option in the menu.
What’s behind the name ‘AWAKEN’ Youth?
The word AWAKEN is actually an acronym. Each letter has a unique and significant meaning… It goes like this: