Giv­ing girls greater re­silience

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

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.

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