Helping youth become independent through life skills and holistic practices

Deborah Potter, November 14, 2019

Photo left to right: Heather Wesley, Melinda Sinclair, Jos-lyn Jackson, Amelie Duquette, Martina Martin, Arthur Edgar, Nicole Rollans at the completion of the Full Circle Youth Life Skills & Wellness program. (Deborah Potter photo)  

Port Alberni, BC — 

After two months, Full Circle Youth Life Skills & Wellness has come to an end.

The pilot youth group was organized by the combination of two NTC services, Child & Youth and Teechuktl Mental Health, with Melinda Sinclair, Nicole Rollans and Amelie Duquette.

Promoting life skills and holistic practices, the program’s activities focused around the wellness wheel: the mind, body, spirt and emotions. They spent a day exploring the benefits of Nuu-chah-nulth culture, another day learning about budgeting and expenses, as well as the importance of home cooked meals. Sinclair also made a point to explain to the youth the many resources the tribal council has. 

 “I think it’s important for our youth to know what services (NTC) has to offer,” said Sinclair, who is a child and youth counsellor with Teechuktl. “Education, NETP, cultural support, it’s all very important.”

There was a consistent seven youth who attended the weekly group meet-ups, ranging in age from 16-24 years old.

“The youth should know that they have a whole community behind them, supporting and cheering them on,” said Rollans, a child and youth counsellor with CYS.

By the end of the program, each client was gifted completion bags, which included sage, Epsom salts, candles, some city passes, and a small carved wooden paddle, which Sinclair explains as “if you have your paddle, you are always moving.”

On top of their completion bag, each client received a new blender, after a successful nutrition session the youth experienced, learning about the benefits of real fruit smoothies and home cooked meals. One client was even gifted a crockpot to begin making affordable, healthy meals.

When asked what the youth got the most out of over the eight-week program, Jos-lyn Jackson said, “Budgeting, definitely.”

“I’m moving in to my own place pretty soon,” she continued. “It’s a good skill to have.”

“Learning about the NTC services, brushings especially,” Heather Wesley added.

“I grew my public and group speaking skills,” Arthur Edgar shared.

By the end of their last group meeting, Sinclair had brought in an intuitive tarot card reader, River Readings, for personalized tarot readings for the youth.

“It’s important that they learn to be healthy in different ways,” Sinclair said to Hashilthsa, “From mental health, life skills, holistic wellness. It’s all connected and important.”