Martin Heppell, one of The Resilience Project's partners, says 'it'll be a privilege' to land in Orange and deliver a week's worth of presentations as part of the mental health program, which kicked off in schools across the city this year.
Mr Heppell, who also played in the AFL with St Kilda, will be joined by fellow facilitator Antony Keely next week, with 12 presentations locked in which, collectively, will have almost 4,500 students, staff and parents in attendance.
TRP began in two secondary and five primary schools across the city earlier this year, with next week's sessions to start on Monday through Thursday, with the program's pillars of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness the focus.
It's huge that we can come and that the program is extending into new areas, it'll be a privilege to come to such a beautiful city.The Resilience Project partner Martin Heppell
The sessions are broken up by students' year and the schools they attend, while teachers and staff have dedicated sessions before a parents and community presentation to round out the visit on Thursday evening.
"We're incredibly excited about coming to Orange and really looking forward to meeting the students, the staff and everyone in the community," Mr Heppell said.
"It's huge that we can come and that the program is extending into new areas, it'll be a privilege to come to such a beautiful city.
"We're looking forward to all the sessions, which are obviously about helping students build that mental resilience to help them now or in the future.
"I'd encourage everyone to come with an open mind, the program has been proven to work but even if it's just one thing they take from a session, that's a positive step."
Bringing TRP to the city's schools began as the brainchild of local Wayne Hill, who drummed up $150,000 worth of funding through Orange City Council and Orange Aboriginal Medical Service.
Director of Community, Recreation and Cultural Services Scott Maunder was the driving force from Council, while chief executive officer Jamie Newman jumped at the chance for OAMS to be involved.
Orange City Council chipped in $100,000 of that funding through the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund and Mr Maunder said the decision to do so was supported 'unanimously'.
"Like a lot of the programs council supports this one was viewed as a community need," he said.
"Helping kids build that resilience at a young age is incredibly important, so they can handle both the good times and the bad times, or develop the tools to cope with the latter if they come later in life.
"Obviously the worst result when we speak about mental health or mental illness is youth suicide, which is awful and needs to continue being addressed.
"This program is a way to help us try and get ahead of that, and it wouldn't be possible without Jamie and OAMS' investment, it's great to have them on board as a partner."
The sessions for students largely run for 60 minutes and will be hosted at relevant schools, while some presentations will also be held at Orange Function Centre.
Orange High and Canobolas Rural Technology High, along with Orange, Canobolas, Calare, Nashdale and Clergate public schools will all be involved.
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