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,” said John Mannion, Executive Director Breakthrough Foundation.
James Podsiadly, ex-AFL player, coach and AFL Max CEO says Camp Breakthrough was created to help share the load with schools and teachers.
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. The camp exists to bolster students’ learning and understanding in this space, beyond the typical classroom setting.
“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.
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.
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 AFL Max, followed by a movie on the big screen as they tuck into their sleeping bags on the indoor field for the night.
At the conclusion of the visit, the program encourages students to work with their families on integrating what they learnt into their daily home lives.
To learn more about Camp Breakthrough: