WALKING ALONGSIDE YOUTH - AN ONLINE ANXIETY COURSE
Four Relational, Culturally Safe Approaches
Honour, nourish, reduce and restore
The four relational approaches—honour, nourish, reduce and restore—are described below and are expanded on throughout the remainder of this course. They form the heart of WAY and are intended to be implemented in ways that focus on the cultural identity of the youth in your care.
Honour a youth’s identity, experiences and family traditions by seeking to understand where a young person comes from, what their experiences are and what they need most. Meet them exactly where they are, walking alongside them. The anxiety they are experiencing is likely warranted. It is not a problem to be fixed; it is a signal that the youth has unmet needs and requires support through a safe relationship.
Nourish anxious youth through relationship. Finding ways to nourish youth through relationship is the only way to satisfy their hunger for connection. This is ultimately the answer to anxiety. We may wish to ease a symptom of anxiety where possible, but we may need to first support the youth in developing confidence and courage in the face of anxiety-inducing situations and circumstances. Either way, nourishing them through relationship is essential.
Reduce alarming situations for youth by limiting separation experiences of all kinds, focusing on relationship, affirming their culture, and providing connection with family, land, and traditional family and community teachings and experiences.
Restore the youth’s internal sense of balance and resilience by providing experiences that build confidence and courage, and a tolerance for emotional expression such as sadness, disappointment and fear. Indigenous ways of knowing and being are naturally restorative and foster the development of resilience.