Stella’s Circle in St. John’s Newfoundland recently completed a project entitled “Peer Support Women’s Leadership Program” that identified young women who have leadership potential. These women developed their leadership skills to allow them to be more engaged in their communities and to benefit from the self-confidence and knowledge they learned in the groups. One Stella’s Circle staff member was trained as Trainers through the Mental Health First Aid Training Course and Mental Health First Aid Training was included as part of the Women’s Leadership Groups. Throughout the Women’s Leadership Program the participants also learned about self-care, conflict resolution, anti-oppressive work, goal setting, storytelling, communication, and navigation of boundaries.
They ran two groups: one in the Fall and one in the Spring. The Fall group produced a video entitled Help Lives Here to create awareness about mental health by sharing their own experiences. Watch the video below.
The Spring group worked together to produce a community resource booklet called You Matter that documents many resources available in the city with contact information including phone numbers, websites, addresses, and email addresses. To complement the booklet, they also designed and printed business card sized contact cards for emergency numbers.
Both of these projects were launched at events that the women organized themselves with the guidance of the two Stella’s Circle group facilitators. Community partners were invited to attend as well as Stella’s Circle staff, participants, neighbours and other interested people such as friends and family of the participants.
Beyond the concrete projects that were produced as a culmination of the leadership groups, the women who participated gained a new level of confidence and personal development. After the sessions were finished, many of them pursued other opportunities such as jobs or volunteer positions and they continue to be more engaged in their community in active roles. The women learned skills such as MHFA, physical First Aid, self-care, personal boundary limits setting, building resilience and strength, and community engagement. These skills are empowering them to reach personal goals in their lives.
Find out more about Stells’s Circle on their website