Andrew Fuller hosts free youth resilience workshops in Esperance

Escare’s series of free workshops on youth resilience have came to a close last week with crowds flocking to the civic centre for a variety of topics.

Resilient Youth Australia director, clinical pyschologist, and author Andrew Fuller lead workshops covering family life, mental health and valuing girls and boys.

Mr Fuller said the workshops were a result of surveys conducted in the region to identify the strengths and weaknesses of young people in terms of their resilience.

“Esperance strikes me as an area which is full of potential, but probably many of the young people don’t necessarily appreciate that or value it,” he said.

“Yet these are the places that are, to some extent, on the edge of the pressures of capital cities so they’re massively advantageous places to grow up because you can do the quirky stuff, you can do the inventive things.

“From my observation of Esperance, the potential of this area is fantastic, so it’s something that should be capitalised on.”

To create a resilient community, Mr Fuller said people needed to feel connected, protected and respected, also known as the CPR of well-being.

“In an area like this the roads are important, the jetty’s important, there’s all those issues, but it’s the people who are most important,” he said.

“Their relationships are what connect with people, once you get that the other stuff actually falls into place.”

Mr fuller said while he was not an expert in the Esperance region, he could be a catalyst to get people thinking differently about how they relate to others and how they can involve young people.

“I think Helen Devinish and her team, who a real instigators of it [the workshops], have been fantastic in terms of putting this together,” he said.

“If we want to really start to push this I think doing the survey again would be valuable.

“I think also getting the council on board and getting local key figures involved in really thinking about how do we make this an even more wonderful place to live.”

One of the things Mr Fuller noticed throughout his career was communities often did things for youth but did not ask young people to do things for the community.

“The pathway to happiness is not about being indulgent but doing things meaningful to you that are beneficial to other people,” he said.

“When you learn that in your life young, then it helps you avoid depression and anxiety and so on because you have a meaning, a purpose.”