Our Programs Implement Expert-recommended Strategies to Mitigate 4 Major Risk Factors Associated With Adolescent Self-Harm and Suicide

E4G program curricula are trauma-informed, guided by WA Education Standards, and designed to provide nurturing, encouraging, and inclusive spaces. 

1. Depression, Anxiety & Stress

Stress among adolescents can come from a wide array of sources and lead to or exacerbate depression and anxiety.

Sources of adolescent stress include but are not limited to:

  • Racism and discrimination 

  • Bullying

  • School demands and frustrations 

  • Negative thoughts or feelings about themselves 

  • Changes in their bodies

  • Navigating sexual orientation and gender identity in an unsupportive environment

  • Economic insecurity

  • Trauma and adversity experienced as a result of loss of stable housing and guardianship

  • Peer pressure

  • Trying to meet unreasonable expectations

Many of the recommended strategies for reducing stress are the same regardless of the source.

We integrate nutrition, yoga, breath work, meditation/mindfulness, art projects, and exercise into our programming, while creating space for positive peer connections and support networks. We also invite guest speakers to give presentations on topics such as positive body image, social media awareness, fighting imposter syndrome, promoting healthy habits, and the power of community. 

The following themes form the foundation of our Empowerment programs and focus heavily on stress reduction:

Empowerment

Understand the connection between self-esteem and healthy decision making

Advocate for self and others to prevent bullying, harassment, and intimidation

Discussion around the following questions:

  • What is your favorite thing about being a girl?

  • What are your strengths?

  • Why is it important to empower girls and women? 


Mindfulness/Breath work: Breath of fire to release negative self-talk and doubt | Bring energy back in through power words | Power yoga & warrior poses |  Girls exchange written positive affirmations

Discussion: 
​Ways to Create Allyship and Support Other Girls

Guest Yoga Teacher: Kelli Mae Willis “Powerful Partnership” We find our strength when we lift each other up. We use the principles of partner yoga, circus, and acrobatics to embody the power of community. Participants learn to find body shapes strong enough to hold the weight of a partner, while developing trust and courage to allow themselves to be supported. 

Past Guest Speaker: Kimberly Mueller “The Power of Being a Female Engineer” Sometimes it isn't easy to feel like yourself when you are surrounded by people who seem different. I will talk about being a female engineer in a male dominated field. I will share a bit about what engineers do and will then focus on why staying true to yourself creates more fulfilling experiences at work. We will also do a fun engineering activity.

Our Conscious Minds Conscious Bodies™ programs promote health and wellbeing through intentional sex education focused on:
Anatomy and Menstruation | Boundaries and Consent | Puberty, Positive Body Image, and Social Media Awareness | Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity | Self-Care, Resilience, and Relationships

2. Discrimination or Hostility Due to Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers (Johns et al., 2019; Johns et al., 2020).

We support and affirm LGBTQ+ attendees, while providing information that is crucial to becoming an LGBTQ+ ally. Our programs are open and relevant to trans and non-binary youth. The curriculum provides an overview of gender identity and the harm caused by gender roles and stereotypes.

Conscious Minds Conscious Bodies - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 
Gender and sexuality are beautiful spectrums. We explore the difference between gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, as well as sexual and romantic orientation. We also discuss where our ideas of gender roles come from and how we can all work together to create a safe community.
Past Guest Speaker: Sara Kukkonen



Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how we limit ourselves and others by using stereo-types or social conditioning 

  • Gain or deepen an understanding of the ways biological sex, gender identity, and gender expression may be different among people

  • Gain knowledge and skills to explore attitudes that affirm the dignity and worth of people of all sexual orientations


WA Health Education Core Ideas:

  • H1.Se5.2a Understand that there is a range of gender roles and expression.

  • H1.Se5.2b Understand importance of treating others with respect regarding gender expression.

  • H2.Se5.5a Describe how media, society, and culture can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression.

3. Bullying, Cyberbullying & Unhealthy Media Consumption

​We address bullying, cyberbullying, and unhealthy consumption of media by promoting and teaching:

  • positive body image

  • self-love

  • self-care

  • resilience

  • strategies for building healthy relationships 

  • strategies for navigating social media during puberty

  • strategies for being an advocate of self and others

 

Part of the Empowerment Program

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn the importance of having a strong sense of self when faced with societal stressors or social media challenges

  • Create positive pathways to embrace our authentic selves through empowering activities.

  • Learn ways to boost our self-esteem to lead us towards empowerment of self and others.

WA Health Education Core Ideas:

  • H1.So1.4a Compare and contrast high and low self esteem 

  • H1.So1.4b Understand the connection between self-esteem and healthy decision making

  • ​H1.So1.HSbUnderstand changes in self esteem can occur as people mature 

  • H8.So5.5 Advocate for self and others to prevent bullying, harassment, and intimidation

4. Lack of Social Support and Affirming Spaces

All of our programming is designed to fill a gap in social support and affirming spaces for girls at a critical phase of development when they are forming identities and learning to cope with numerous stressors that put them at risk for depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. By implementing expert-recommended strategies to mitigate major risk factors, we aim to be part of a much-needed, broader effort to reduce adolescent self-harm and suicide rates.

If you would like to join us in our efforts, please consider donatingvolunteering, or becoming a board member

Additional resources for anyone who is considering suicide or knows someone who is:

988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
Dial:  988

Twelve-Things-Parents-Can-Do-to-Prevent-Suicide

The Trevor Project Help line 
1-866-488-7386 

Teenagers Guide to Depression

Are you feeling suicidal?