Middle and High School Students
Speaking to students in middle and high school is a unique opportunity. As a former educator, I know that first we must connect with our students. The great Rita Pierson once said, "Kids don't learn from people they don't like!" How true that is! My first task when working with students is to connect with them. It's only then that they will be open to hearing what I have to say.
As someone who lives with alopecia, I know what it feels like to really, really dislike your body. Our kids today deal with such pressure from social media and peers that their image of themselves often takes a beating.
A recent study released in the UK reports that 1 in 8 adults have contemplated suicide because of the way they feel about their body. If that number appalls you as much as it does me, then you'll agree it's time to do something about this. (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/mental-health-awareness-week-body-image-suicide-study-a8911041.html)
What if we could have reached these adults when they were in middle and/or high school? How would that have changed their lives? Suicide is the second leading cause of death in children and young adult's ages 15-24. The suicide rate for 10-14 year old students has almost tripled from 2007 to 2017.
Most people want to just hide the problem, but telling kids to ignore how they feel is NEVER the answer. We need to help kids understand that we are all different. That we all have issues with our bodies and that's okay. It makes us normal. And none of us are perfect. Perfect doesn't even exist!
In my 30-45 minute presentation, I help young people understand that they are so perfectly designed and uniquely amazing. I also help them to understand the trauma caused by making others feel poor about themselves. We are active and engaged and students leave with a renewed sense of self.
For small groups, such as youth groups, scouts, after school programs, church groups and teen groups, together we work through activities that help them to formulate a positive self image and replace negative self talk.
Have a specific concern among your student population? Contact me and let's discuss the issue to craft a presentation to meet your needs.