Dr Hayley Watson, Clinical Psychologist

PhD Clin Psych, MA Clin Psych,
MA Transpersonal Psych, PG Dip Psych, BA Criminology

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Hi, my name is Dr Hayley Watson. I’m a clinical psychologist with a PhD in school bullying interventions, and 15 years of experience developing and delivering school well-being programs.

I have worked with schools, governments, police departments, charities, and private corporations globally to build effective systems of support for both youth and adults.

But let’s start at the beginning…

When I was 2 years old, my house was bombed with dynamite. Every few months for a year and a half.

I lived in fear. And as I grew, I learned to bury that fear. So when I was 16 and my mom suddenly left my dad and moved to another country, I buried those feelings as well.

I was a high achieving student. Voted Valedictorian by my graduating class. I played sports, I had friends, I was close with all my teachers.

On the surface, I appeared to be a student who didn’t need any support.

But I did. Desperately. I just didn’t know how to ask for help, because I was too busy trying to pretend I was ok.

I lived like this for a long time, and on the surface my life seemed pretty great.

But no matter how much outward ‘success’ I achieved, I couldn’t shake the feeling of dissatisfaction.

My mind was disorganised. I felt stressed all the time. And I didn’t really know what made me happy.

The bottom line was this:

I was stuck in a rut because I had pushed my feelings away for so long, I simply had no idea how to truly take care of myself and build a life I loved… and I had no way of articulating any of this or even understanding that things could be different.

On any given day, I would wonder:

●    Why am I so stressed?
●    Why are my relationships so hard?
●    Why do I feel like I’m just “going through the motions”?
●    How do I know if I’m making the “right” decisions?
●    Am I ever going to feel satisfied with myself?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Do you think your staff and students are wondering these things?

I ask, because there’s a lot of well-meaning but incomplete mental health information out there. It can confuse all of us and it can divert our focus from where it actually should be. Which means that students and teachers are “coping” but they’re not thriving, because they are never getting to the deepest roots of their wellbeing challenges.

The good news is, if you’re a School Leader looking to support your staff and students, increase motivation and engagement levels, and create a generation of thriving leaders for tomorrow, there are answers.

And over time, with the help of deep personal inquiry, 11 years of education, multiple research studies on school mental health interventions, and countless hours working with educators, school leadership teams, students, and families, I believe I’ve found them.

With the skills I learned, I finally had the ability to address my childhood trauma, which gave me the courage to pursue my deepest passions in all areas of my life, and the power to build a life I truly love.

Seeing how vastly different my own life has become, I wanted to give every young person the same opportunity to truly thrive…

Imagine a world where every youth made choices that brought out their deepest potential, rather than those that boosted their social media following? Where every child could articulate their pain so they received the help they needed to overcome their own personal obstacles? Where every student graduated with a deep appreciation for their education and a desire to give back to their community?

This vision is why I created Open Parachute and why I share all of what I’ve learned in our student curriculum, Educator Wellbeing programs, and caregiver resources that are now helping over 250,000 students in 5 countries to truly thrive.

So if you’ve found value in my content, it’s my honor to help you turn your school into a space where your students can learn the skills they need to truly reach their fullest potential. And if you’re interested in working with me and my team more closely to experience more success and engagement levels in your school, I’d like to invite you to book a call.

On the call, my team will work with you to uncover your #1 wellbeing challenge, develop a 3-step action plan to get positive change starting ASAP, and see if our resources are right for you at this time.

Let’s make today a major turning point in your journey as a School Leader.

Book A Call


Dr. Hayley