Self-Love Bootcamps (SLBC) are integrative, innovative, artistic and fun social-emotional learning programs, created to support young adults in developing dynamic mental wellness practices that result in higher self-esteem and self-confidence, reduction in symptoms of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideations, while improving resiliency and self-love.
Additionally, a new and exciting component has been offered as part of this program as of recently. Through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Teen Mental Health First Aid equips adolescents with the skills to recognize and address indicators of mental health issues in their community. Furthermore, our Mindful Youth Ambassadors program is the sequential training program for youth interested in developing their mental wellness practices even further and in sharing what they’ve learned with others.
At our Self Love Boot Camp for Teens (SLBC), we employ a range of modalities to provide comprehensive support and care for youth who are in need. Our innovation lies in our multi-layered approach to delivering services. Our modalities are specifically tailored to address the unique experiences and challenges of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth living in underserved communities affected by trauma and violence. We understand the importance of offering diverse approaches to ensure that each individual can find healing, empowerment, and personal growth.
Expressive Arts: Research shows that there is a direct relationship between creativity and mindfulness. There is also a correlation between the act of doing art, being surrounded by art, and thus coming into a state of mindfulness. Both drawing and meditation have been found linked as they both improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. SLBCs include: canvas and mural painting, vision boarding, drawing & sketching, craft art, music creation, spoken word, drama, jewelry making, candle-making, and digital arts.
Mindfulness, Meditation, and Nature: We incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices into the program to support emotional well-being and self-awareness. Mindfulness techniques help youth cultivate a sense of presence, manage stress, and develop resilience. The importance of nature and the presence of nature cannot be overstated in the context of mental and physical wellbeing for our youth who often face environmental stressors and limited access to green spaces. Connecting with nature provides a powerful avenue for self-care, healing, and cultivating a sense of inner peace. Studies show that only 20 minutes a day in nature provides a multiplicity of benefits including becoming healthier and happier.
Yoga and Movement: We recognize the importance of integrating the mind and body in holistic healing. Yoga, Tai-Chi and other movement activities are incorporated to promote physical well-being, body positivity, and self-care. Through gentle movement, breathing exercises, and body awareness practices, youth can develop a positive relationship with their bodies, enhance their self-esteem, and cultivate a sense of strength and empowerment.
Peer Support and Leadership: We facilitate group support sessions where youth can connect with peers who share similar experiences and challenges. Youth practice their interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills through these practices. Our youth develop social-emotional leadership skills through project-based learning. At the end of each boot camp, they are shown that not only are they receiving life skills from the boot camp, but that they also have something to give back. With this in mind, our youth build leadership skills and self-worth by designing and executing a group service project to deliver within their local community and involve multiple generations in its implementation and impact.
Psychoeducation and Communication Skill Building: We provide psychoeducation workshops and communication skill-building sessions focused on topics relevant to the needs of our youth. Our tactics include: journaling, sound therapy, aromatherapy, mediation, mindful breathing, peer-to-peer interaction, positive self-talk, visualization exercises and an affirmation workshop. The topics of these sessions include: self-esteem, self-care, healthy relationships, boundary setting, and personal growth. By equipping them with knowledge and practical skills, we empower youth to navigate through their challenges in a healthy way and make informed decisions.
Culturally Responsive Approaches: We acknowledge and honor the cultural backgrounds and experiences of our youth, ensuring that our programming is culturally sensitive and inclusive. This includes incorporating cultural traditions, stories, and practices into the modalities we use, allowing our youth to connect with their heritage and cultural identity as part of their healing journey.
Through these modalities, LOLK and SLBC aim to provide a comprehensive approach to supporting the well-being of our youth. By being entrenched in the daily practice of learning each modality offered, favorite methods can be called upon in future moments by our youth so that they may practice their self love in ways that work best for them. Through recognizing their unique needs and offering diverse avenues for healing and growth, we strive to empower our youth to embrace their identities, build resilience, and cultivate self-love.