Sharks support Open Parachute to protect the mental health of local youth


Open Parachute, a school-based mental health program designed to promote social and emotional development, is the only teen program of its kind to introduce peer-to-peer methods as part of the core curriculum.

Designed by clinical psychologist Dr. Hayley Watson, Open Parachute shows students their age going through similar issues, including bullying, social media, anxiety, grief, addiction, body image, boundaries and consent, depression and more.

It teaches the coping mechanisms needed to deal with the challenges they are sure to face at some point in their lives.

And now the Sharks, in partnership with the Sebastian Foundation, Guy and Jules Sebastian’s charity, are supporting One Parachute to help protect the mental health of young people.

Originally designed for students in grades 5 and up, the program has recently expanded to begin teaching important life skills early in their schooling.

Guy Sebastian will join Sharks Group CEO Dino Mezzatesta and Dr. Haley Watson, clinical psychologist behind the program, to present a virtual information session on Open Parachute and how schools can get involved and s ‘involve. This information session will be moderated virtually from 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23. To register your interest in the free session, follow the link: CLICK HERE

It costs $30 to get a child through this program, with Sharks Have Heart and the Sebastian Foundation funding and subsidizing Open Parachute for Sutherland Shire schools and students.

Helping to deliver Open Parachute to area schools, clothing bins provided by E-Thread will be set up to accept collections at Sharks home games during the 2022 season. The business arrangement with E-Thread Thread will allow Sharks Have Heart to help fund the program.

To learn more about Open Parachute and their work, visit their website at For more information on The Sebastian Foundation, visit while schools interested in participating in the Zoom presentation, please email [email protected]

Open Parachute also offers complementary programs for teachers and parents to allow them to better support students throughout the program.

About the open parachute
Open Parachute is a team of clinical psychologists, program developers, educators, filmmakers and storytellers. Using their collective expertise, they create cutting-edge wellness programs using documentary films to engage and develop students, parents, and teachers in ways that have never been done before.

Well-being should be a right, not a privilege. Every student deserves to learn skills that will help them reach their full potential.

A clinical psychologist with a PhD in bullying interventions from Macquarie University, Dr. Hayley Watson has created and implemented intervention programs around the world for the past 15 years.

Dr Watson, who designed Open Parachute, has a research partnership with Columbia University, with the program being implemented in the UK and US, and rolled out to schools across Australia.

This is a groundbreaking school-based program that aims to make a difference in adolescent mental health, helping them understand and survive issues such as low self-esteem, trauma, abuse, difficulties bullying/friendship, addiction, diet/body image. problems, depression/anxiety and loss/grief at an extremely vulnerable time in their lives.

To learn more about Open Parachute, CLICK HERE


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