Giving girls greater resilience
AS a teenager, Kim Smith said she was bullied on a daily basis about her height and weight.
As a result, she became very quiet, sad, self-conscious and introverted.
However, after building her confidence and self-esteem back up, Ms Smith decided to open Perth’s first wellness centre for teen girls experiencing similar feelings.
“Just like I did, girls need a place to feel comfortable enough to open up and share their feelings, to express themselves and build trust,” Ms Smith said.
“They need to learn skills to deal with the experiences they are having from friendships to emotions, communication, confidence, body-image, stress, school, health, everything that girls go through.”
Standing Strong in West Perth for girls aged 11 to 17, which opened earlier this year aims to do just that.
“The benefits of mentoring are vastly undervalued here in Australia, however through my own experience as a youth coach and mentor I’ve come to realise that girls with a positive ‘big sister’ role model are less likely to bully or be bullied and act with greater resilience when things don’t go their way,” Ms Smith said.
The centre offers a range of activities in a safe environment where girls can work to build healthier relationships, improve self-esteem, develop skills for overcoming negative experiences and gain greater confidence to face challenging situations.
For more information, visit www.girlsstandingstrong.com.
Kim Smith has opened a wellness centre for girls in Perth.