Feel Brave Ltd and Life Education Trust have joined forces to help positively disrupt the current situation with children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing in New Zealand.

The partnership brings the Feel Brave books, strategies and resources into Life Education’s mobile classrooms,’ along with award winning UK based NZ author Avril McDonald’s expertise in being able to get powerful self-regulation techniques and emotional intelligence across to children through characters and stories.

Avril McDonald says, “It breaks my heart that of all places, New Zealand has some of the worst emotional health statistics in the developed world. We have the one of the highest rates of suicide and half of our teenagers are experiencing varying levels of self-harming.  My recent six-week tour around 30 schools in New Zealand highlighted these problems to me as well as the alarming levels of anxiety from children which teachers are seeing as early as kindergarten entry level.

“The Feel Brave strategies have proven to work like magic and I’m thrilled that the Life Education Trust see the potential that we have together to strategically make the kind of change that can produce the ‘non-linear’ results that we now so desperately need in our children’s emotional wellbeing.”

Life Education Trust are excited to add another resource to their programme to support students with resilience strategies – something teachers are increasingly requesting support with.

Life Education Trust’s Chief Executive John O’Connell says their team are seeing trends of increased awareness and a willingness to discuss mental health and wellbeing. John believes collaborating and working with others to provide the best support possible for teachers, children and their whanau, is a great way forward.

“Our philosophy is that each child is unique and we have a flexible approach to work with each school to meet their specific needs. Feel Brave is a wonderful resource and we can integrate the story and themes with the teacher in their classroom and importantly, in children’s homes.”

Jo Mortimer, Life Education’s Programme and Development Manager agrees, and believes the Feel Brave stories and strategies align perfectly to Life Education’s teaching.

“I was really interested in Avril’s work and how she introduces young children to ways in which their brain works,” she says. One of the principles of the Life Education Trust’s philosophy is to teach children about the magnificence of the human body.

“We believe that the more students know about their incredible body and how it functions then they are better able to understand what they are experiencing and what their bodies need. We are looking forward to integrating the Feel Brave resources to help children develop their emotional intelligence,” says Jo.

See Education Review’s article, Feel Brave: Innovative Pedagogy in Emotional Health.


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