How can schools benefit from our innovations and clinical experience?
What kind of help do we offer schools?
Schools play a vital role in children’s lives. Not only academically but on so many other levels: social, emotional, physical, and psychological.
Over the years, the Integra program has been playing a unique role in helping teachers, educators, and school administrators to understand the impacts of Learning Disabilities on children’s learning and Mental Health all over Ontario and point them to more effective approaches and strategies. You can contact us to find out about our workshops and training events here.
At Integra Young Warriors (YW) we are also proud to have been consulting with schools about how we can help translate Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation skills into interventions which are fun and exciting for kids. You can also find out more about that by contacting our Community Education and Engagement coordinator here.
YW in the Classroom?
(updates from Trillium Lakelands District School Board Pilot project)
In September of 2016, students in five elementary schools in Trillium Lakelands District School Board began the Integra Young Warriors (YW) program as part of a continued partnership between the Board and three community agencies who work in schools with students.
Latest UPDATE: In 2018, we have expanded to running 14 groups in 13 schools.
“We are delivering an evidence-informed practice that integrates elements of mindfulness, collaborative problem-solving, dialectical behavior therapy, attachment theory and drama therapy with Aikido (the peaceful martial art) and yoga to help children learn critical self-regulation life skills,” says David Jurasek, Integra Young Warriors founder and Coordinator at Child Development Institute (CDI).
YW also includes a core component of parent/child engagement, which integrates attachment theory and encourages parents to also learn and practice emotion regulation skills, such as tempering anger, triggering a calm response and learning to repair ruptures with their kids.
While the 20-week program delivered at CDI’s Imperial Street location serves up to 80 clients per year through four classes each week, the school-based model has been adapted to meet the needs of this specific group and setting.
“Our innovative implementation reflects the true integrated partnership between educators and children’s mental health agencies,” says Dr. Marjory Phillips, director of the Integra program at CDI. “The school-based sessions are taught by a team of instructors made up of both mental health professionals and teachers who have received training and received the necessary certifications by our team of instructors.”
Building on the success of Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts (MMA), a similar program for youth between the ages of 12 to 18, which launched in the Trillium Lakelands District School Board four years ago, the YW program works with younger children with LDMH who face their own unique challenges including being scattered and hyperactive or tuned out and withdrawn, having anger outbursts, giving up too easily, and being avoidant of school and social situations due to how they relate to emotions like anxiety.
A recent two-year multi-method research study into Integra Young Warriors shows positive results: children who participated in the study showed improvements in their ability to self-soothe and manage outburst of anger and frustration, resulting in more positive interactions both at home and at school.
The program continues to grow and plans are in place to expand to other communities in Ontario.