Campbell River students show resilience

A group of high school students are now trained to make Campbell River a more “resilient” community.

A group of high school students are now trained to make Campbell River a more “resilient” community.

About 45 international co-op students from Carihi and Timberline high schools participated in a “Seeds of Resilience” workshop put on by Imagine Campbell River: Growing Better Together this past Thursday.

“They responded really well,” said project coordinator Erin Dusdal. “They came up with some really thoughtful ideas that they could do really simply to make a difference in people’s days.”

Resiliency training teaches people to deal with stressful issues in their lives in a positive way, and how to pass on the training to others in the community to improve mental health overall.

The workshop lasted over two hours, and happened on a professional development day at school, so the Grade 10-12 students went to the workshop on their day off.

These co-op students will fundraise in the community this school year, so they can go to Guatemala next summer.

Dusdal said they were asked to make up an action plan at the end of the workshop, which outlined ways they could help build resilience in the community or help build a sense of belonging in others; she was very impressed with what they came up with.

“They were a really engaged group of kids with some really great ideas and they seemed to grasp some pretty complicated ideas very, very well,” explained Dusdal.

Imagine Campbell River: Growing Better Together received funding from the Community Action Initiative back in April. In early fall, the community was invited to share personal stories of resilience, which were posted on the initiative’s website. Dusdal said she would be delighted to receive more of these stories.

“We’ve had a few, but I would love more, and they don’t have to be big stories just really simple, a nice thing that someone’s done for you or you’ve done for someone else,” explained Dusdal.

A couple of workshops training community outreach professionals have already happened, and more are slated for November. A resiliency workshop will also take place at Robron high school at the end of November.

And in the early new year, Carihi’s peer support class will be trained, and then the students will go into elementary schools to pass on the training to younger students.

Dusdal’s intention is for the resiliency to spread throughout the community with this train the trainer model. She said it seems to be catching on in Campbell River.

“It’s begun to take off,” said Dusdal. “People are hearing about it.”

Imagine Campbell River will also be at Starlight Shopping night on Fri., Dec. 2.

“We’ll have a storefront and be doing some activities with families, so it definitely has kicked off and we’ve started to hit all the sectors that I want, from social services to business communities to the schools,” said Dusdal.

Free winter training sessions open to the general public will happen from January-March. Spaces are limited and registration is required. Contact Dusdal at 250-202-5500 or to register or for more information, or visit www.imaginecampbell for more information.