On the 21st of March, Heart-Centered Leadership Foundation (HCLF) organized the first ‘Speaking From the Heart’ activity, which is the equivalent of Impact Café but for professionals!
As part of the Curason pa Curason project that aims to normalize the conversation around mental health and mental resilience, approximately 200 students attending secondary education participated in dialogue exchange sessions of Impact Café. The purpose of Impact Café is to create a safe space where young people can share their experiences and come up with solutions they would like to see to topics they encounter.
Through the Curason pa Curason project, we focus on working with not only students but teachers as well. In recent years, research on the topic of mental health of teachers has indicated that ‘poor mental health’ can lead to low work-related outcomes such as absenteeism, ill-health retirement, and presenteeism (where one presents at work but underperforms due to illness or other challenges). This in turn affects the classroom environment: poor classroom management and poor student-teacher relationships, which can lead to low student engagement, learning, and achievement.
As a foundation that believes in the power of cultivating the knowledge of identity, qualities, values, principles, and abilities in young people through the heart-centered approach, we also believe that teachers play an important role in shaping this knowledge in youth, therefore we should also prioritize sustaining the well-being of teachers. Through this realization, we have taken the leap to host dialogue exchange sessions for teachers with the intention of strengthening their capacity as professionals to express their experiences and challenges with mental health and what they would need in order to improve their mental resilience, both in their personal and professional lives.
The first school to participate in this session was Abraham de Veer. The focal point of the session was to give the teachers the opportunity to exchange ideas and propose solutions for how they experience the topic of mental health, specifically mental resilience. Throughout the session, the teachers were able to contribute what they believed was going well, what was lacking, and what solutions they can implement to ensure their mental resilience can become stronger.
Speaking From The Heart is an incredible beginning for educators as it will allow them to reflect on ways they can sustain their mental resilience and strengthen their capacity to empower youth in secondary education.
We are looking forward to continuing with Speaking From The Heart in June of this year with the 3 other project schools in the 'Curason pa Curason' project.
Curason pa Curason project is partially funded by Fonds 21.