Understanding the increasing need for mental health awareness and education for school students, Breakthrough’s John Mannion and AFL Max’s James Podsiadly have joined forces to create the unique program.
Mental health awareness at AFL Max
The overnight camp at AFL Max aims to maximise mental health awareness through fun, conversation and learning. Designed for students in years 5-8, Camp Breakthrough is centered around empowering students to care for their own mental health and learning how to recognise and support it in others.
We know that 50% of diagnosable mental illness onsets between the ages of 11 and 14. This camp offers a space for students to learn and understand mental health in its various forms and hopefully arm them with the knowledge and skills they need to help navigate it themselves and support others. – John Mannion, Executive Director Breakthrough Foundation.
“We know there is a lot of pressure on schools, teachers and curriculums to cover it all when it comes to wellbeing and mental health. We’ve created Camp Breakthrough to help share the load with schools and teachers. The camp exists to bolster students learning and understanding in this space, beyond the typical classroom setting” said James Podsiadly, ex-AFL player, coach and AFL Max CEO.
“Max’s facilities also allow the kids to enjoy themselves. It is all about active learning and having fun together – we find students resonate best with this approach, particularly when it comes to such important life learning” said Podsiadly.
Camp Breakthrough has also received a $150k grant over the next three years from Variety – the Children’s Charity of South Australia, which will enable disadvantaged schools and students to access the unique camp.
Variety SA’s CEO, Mark McGill said, “Variety is excited for Camp Breakthrough and the positive impact it will have on many students experiencing disadvantage. We’re thrilled to be able to provide greater access to such important and fun learning experiences for kids.”
What can kids expect at Camp Breakthrough?
The 24hr camp, set at AFL Max, sees the students work their way through AFL Max’s Four Quarters of mental health, combining theoretical and practical learning utilising Max’s state-of-the-art and fun facility.
Q1: Recognise – What is and isn’t Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Q2: Self – Caring for my mental health by staying healthy.
Q3: Awareness – Develop a better awareness within ourselves.
Q4: Together – How to be there for others.
Students finish the first day with dinner at Max, followed by a movie on the big screen as they tuck into their sleeping bags on the indoor field for the night.
Joining AFL Max’s popular suite of camps and education offerings, it is expected Camp Breakthrough will quickly become one of the most popular overnight camps for South Australian schools.
To learn more about Camp Breakthrough: