Open Parachute

Don't waste money
on a program that
doesn't get used.

Pre-planned lessons mean less
preparation for your teachers.

Engaging Lessons that students will love

Each lesson is based around documentary videos which showcase Australian youth sharing their own experiences of overcoming struggle. Peer role-modeling is clinically proven to help students develop resilience, while also creating a sense of safety in the classroom, enabling students to explore their own experiences of struggle.

“It was really well received by our students. It really removed the stigma of talking about mental health and wellness and the students really loved it.”

“It was really well received by our students. It really removed the stigma of talking about mental health and wellness and the students really loved it.”

Amanda Botic - School Counsellor

Give your teachers a break

Let a Clinical Psychologist do the work! Each video contains teaching points from our founder, Clinical Psychologist Dr Hayley Watson. These concise, targeted messages ensure that the core therapeutic aims and key learning points are clear to students and teachers.

“The clips from Dr hayley were very clear and concise.”

“The clips from Dr hayley were very clear and concise.”

Taura Berg - Director of student services

Take learning outside the classroom

Each lesson contains partner exercises that enable students to analyse the learning points and practice mental health skills-building exercises. These conversations change the way students interact in other contexts outside of class, minimising the isolation and vulnerability of students when they are struggling with their mental health.

“Kids are learning to take perspective. They’re showing a lot more empathy for others and a greater understanding for people who struggle.”

“Kids are learning to take perspective. They’re showing a lot more empathy for others and a greater understanding for people who struggle.”

Jenny Williams - Director of Educational Support Services

Teachers become more confident

By running Open Parachute, teachers get a chance to practice fundamental mental health concepts. Alongside their students, teachers learn important skills that not only give them confidence to support the mental health of their students, but also improve their own mental health along the way.

“They’ve got the language, they’ve got the resources and they feel like they have greater confidence to help students navigate issues as they come up.”

“They’ve got the language, they’ve got the resources and they feel like they have greater confidence to help students navigate issues as they come up.”

Carol-Ann Leidloff - Director of Instruction

Student-led exercises

Each program includes time for writing privately about sensitive topics, to assist students in reflecting on the material in the context of their own challenges. Journaling is a powerful tool for positive mental health outcomes, and the program introduces and reinforces this useful habit for students.

“When there are journaling opportunities, there’s really no other time in the school day that students can express themselves in that way, or even be asked these questions about how they’re feeling, or some of the thoughts they’re having or even some of the experiences that are going on in their life.”

“When there are journaling opportunities, there’s really no other time in the school day that students can express themselves in that way, or even be asked these questions about how they’re feeling, or some of the thoughts they’re having or even some of the experiences that are going on in their life.”

Taura Berg - Director of Student Services

"Open Parachute was the tool we were looking for to help us engage with our students about their thoughts and feelings. This peer-based learning approach has improved student engagement in discourse focused on the critical understanding of issues related to mental health."

Simple and practical resources to help teachers address student mental health

Mental health expertise not required

Be confident that your
students are supported

Teachers are taught how to successfully run the Open Parachute program in a series of training videos. Teachers are taught how to use their existing educator skills to effectively run lessons that support the mental health of all their students.

Build your teachers’ confidence

Teachers are provided with instructional videos that provide specific steps for how to best respond to student questions and comments that arise during the program. Teachers are also provided with step-by-step instructions for how to manage student mental health concerns so that they are confident in their ability to respond in a crisis.

Helping students engage
in mental health

For some students, talking about their feelings will come easily, but for others it may be more difficult. In this program, teachers are walked through specific strategies to help their students engage in the content, and are provided with a greater understanding of how to effectively reach all of their students.

Easy preparation

Teachers are provided with printable worksheets prior to each lesson which contain all the information they will need, as well as suggestions and tips for running the lesson. There is also a two-minute audio recording accompanying each lesson, which provides teachers with a brief overview of the key learning outcomes.
"The discussions were fantastic. The students were really open with things they were dealing with - like the kids in the videos. That was ideal because then it normalises experiences students are afraid to verbalise and they start to realise they aren't so different after all. We were able to support these students and they were able to begin supporting each other. This program offers a very evidence-based, well laid out, easy to prep set of lessons that are specific to the year level they teach. Students engage well because they can relate to the kids in the videos."

Engaging Lesson Topics that map onto ACARA curriculum

This Lesson introduces students to the topic of mental health, and focuses on normalising honest communication about personal challenges. Students are given the opportunity to discuss the universal mental health challenges that can impact all of us in the course of our lives, and are taught skills for seeing the possibility of positive change to overcome any challenging situation.

This Lesson helps students identify challenges that occur when trying to make new friends. Students learn how to identify the challenging thoughts and feelings that arise when they are meeting new friends. They are also taught how to push themselves outside of their comfort zone to find people they connect with, and how to identify which friends are a positive influence, and which ones are not.

This Lesson helps students identify situations of bullying and prejudicial treatment. Students learn that it is normal to develop low self-esteem as a result of being treated poorly by others, and to want to hide these experiences from others. They also learn that there are people who want to support them, and the positive impacts of asking for help. Finally, they learn tools and strategies for helping themselves and others to overcome bullying dynamics and power imbalances.

This Lesson focuses on helping students think critically about the stereotypes that they have been exposed to, and how those stereotypes have impacted their own self-perceptions and the way they treat their own bodies (eg. Eating habits, exercise, self-care, online interactions). They are given the chance to practice skills for creating positive self-image, and forming healthy habits. 

This Lesson teaches students about mental health reactions like anxiety and depression, and how these can arise as a result of our brain’s response to challenging experiences and difficult emotions. Students learn about their own stress responses, and how to soothe themselves when they are overwhelmed. They are guided through tools for changing their thoughts and making choices that positively impact their mental health.

This Lesson focuses on building skills for setting and upholding boundaries for self and others. Students critically analyse different tools for creating and setting boundaries, and practice discussing their perspectives on boundaries with their peers. 

This Lesson focuses on building empathy for self and others. Students explore the reasons behind the reactions of others, and practice analysing the root causes of behaviour. They are given the chance to reflect on their own actions, and practice skills for relating to others with empathy and understanding.

This Lesson focuses on unhelpful thought patterns. Students are given a chance to normalise the presence of negative thinking patterns in all our lives, and critically analyse common reactions to negative thoughts. They are taught skills for noticing their own thoughts, and making positive changes when they experience negative thinking patterns.

This Lesson focuses on emotional awareness and expression. Students practice the skills of noticing the link between their thoughts and feelings, and exploring uncomfortable emotional reactions. They are given the opportunity to create a positive relationship with challenging feelings, as a helpful tool for self-awareness and self-soothing. 

This Lesson introduces students to the topic of mental health, and focuses on normalising honest communication about personal challenges. Students are given the opportunity to discuss the universal mental health challenges that can impact all of us in the course of our lives, and are taught skills for seeing the possibility of positive change to overcome any challenging situation.

This Lesson focuses on building tools for navigating exclusion and mistreatment. Students reflect on different forms of mistreatment, and learn to recognise the negative self-esteem impacts that can result from these experiences. They are given tools for analysing the actions of others to gain insight and build self-esteem, while focussing on the things they can control (their own thoughts and actions) in order to build authentic, supportive connections with others. 

This Lesson focuses on emotional awareness and expression, and how these tools can help us overcome trauma and prejudice. Students practice tools for thinking critically about cultural and peer group messaging that lead to challenging feelings. They are given the opportunity to reflect on and express their true feelings as a tool for supporting themselves and connecting authentically with others. 

This Lesson focuses on prejudice and mistreatment, and building skills for setting and upholding boundaries for self and others. Students critically analyse different forms of abusing power, both personally and culturally. They work on skills for building empathy and understanding for people who have faced these experiences, and reflect on ways that they can create positive cultural change. 

This Lesson focuses on understanding mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. Students learn tools for breaking down mental health stigma, and noticing the difference between helpful and unhelpful thinking patterns. They are given an opportunity to reflect on the activities that promote their own positive mental health.

This Lesson focuses on the common challenge of wanting to “fit in” with peer groups, and how this can lead to actions that are harmful for ourselves and others. Students are given the opportunity to identify and reflect on their own values, and practice the skill of communicating their values with peers in order to create positive social change. 

 

This Lesson focuses on understanding and communicating about personal struggles. Students practice tools for thinking critically about personal struggles that lead to challenging feelings and reactions. They are given the opportunity to reflect on and express their true feelings as a tool for supporting themselves and connecting authentically with others. 

This Lesson explores creating positive change related to social issues. Students are given a chance to reflect on their own perspectives of unhelpful social realities, and critically analyse why these realities exist. They practice the skills of communicating about social issues with their peers, and forming a realistic plan for creating positive change in the world.

This Lesson introduces students to the topic of mental health, and focuses on normalising honest communication about personal challenges. Students are given the opportunity to discuss the universal mental health challenges that can impact all of us in the course of our lives, and are taught skills for seeing the possibility of positive change to overcome any challenging situation.

This Lesson focuses on understanding mental health challenges, and factors that play a role in these challenges (such as prejudice, trauma, and relationship patterns). Students learn tools for understanding trauma responses and noticing the difference between helpful and unhelpful thinking patterns. They are given an opportunity to reflect on the activities that promote their own positive mental health.

This Lesson focuses on patterns of addiction and how this can lead to a disconnection from values, including disrespect for self and others. Students analyze causes of addiction, such as trauma, grief and loneliness, and learn skills for making positive choices for themselves and their peers.

This Lesson teaches students about boundaries and boundary violations. They practice critically analysing the mental health impacts of sexual, emotional, and physical boundary violations, and discuss strategies for supporting themselves and others who have faced boundary violations. 

This Lesson focuses on critical thinking about mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. Students learn tools for understanding personal stress responses, and changing patterns that lead to heightened stress. They are given an opportunity to reflect on the activities that shift both anxious and depressive mental states. 

This Lesson focuses on critical thinking regarding social inequalities and cultural challenges. Students are given the chance to make a plan for realistic action they can take to make positive changes in their community, and build the skills needed to become leaders in their peer group.  

 

This Lesson focuses on building awareness about the impact of emotions on decision-making. Students are taught critical thinking tools for analysing their own actions and the actions of others through the lens of emotional awareness. They are also given a chance to build tools for distinguishing the difference between positive and negative emotional influences. 

This Lesson focuses on understanding healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics. Students are taught a model that can be used to critically analyse their own relationship patterns, and given the tools needed to find empowerment and make positive changes in their connections with others. 

This Lesson focuses on building skills of personal reflection and connection with self and others. Students are taught mindfulness practices and gratitude practices, and are given the chance to experience how these practices impact their thoughts and in turn, their personal mental health. They are also provided with an opportunity to reflect on their own positive growth and change. 

Be a leader in mental
health education

With separate programs for K-12, Open Parachute can
run in your school for years to come.

and get access
to a free trial!
Teacher Stress Management Toolkit

Teacher Stress Management Toolkit™ for School Leaders. Improve the
well-being of your staff so they can better support your students!