Today Fearless Women launches two programs – Fearless Future an education program for girls in Years 5 to 10, and our Mentor Program which pairs young women aged 10 to 25 with a volunteer mentor. Both programs have been piloted and tested and are making a difference. The young women involved have shown positive growth. Their level of confidence and self-esteem has risen and they are trailing new behaviours. Girls are being kinder to themselves and are more willing to seek support, while mentors themselves are experiencing improved well-being and mental health.
MEDIA RELEASE 27 February 2023
Fearless Women, a Canberra based charity organisation dedicated to empowering girls and young women and addressing mental health challenges, is proud to announce the launch of its Fearless Futures School Education program and mentoring program.
“The mental health challenges faced by young women and girls in our community are significant,” said Glenda Stevens, CEO of Fearless Women.
“Mental health services in Canberra are so hard to access, even for those who have the means or the time to wait. Early intervention and education are critical to help tackle the mental health crisis and assist young women to build confidence and resilience,” Ms Stevens continued.
The official launch of Fearless Women’s programs aligns with International Women’s Day, the theme of which is “cracking the code”, which aims to address barriers to equality.
“Mentoring and support programs have been running for boys and young men in the region for several years. Fearless Women recognised that there was a significant gap by not offering similar, girls only programs,” Ms Stevens said.
Recent reports by the Australian National University, Mission Australia, and the YWCA demonstrate that girls and young women in Canberra feel overwhelmed, stressed, and uncertain about their future, more than in any other location in Australia.
Ms Jacqueline Gibb, of Canberra Mobile Counselling, says that “many young women are finding it difficult to navigate their way from adolescence to adulthood. The events of recent years have fractured their rites of passage, access to independence, and social networks. This is causing some young women to rely on unhelpful and sometimes harmful coping mechanisms.”
“One in three girls aged between 15 and 19 meet the criteria for serious mental illness. They are twice as likely to report high psychological distress than young men in our region. These statistics are deeply concerning, and our programs aim to intervene and educate before the girls find themselves in crisis, so that they can live healthier, happier, and more positive lives.
“We are proud to be launching two specialised programs to help girls and young women in the Canberra community thrive. We’ve been operating our Fearless Future and mentoring programs since mid-2022,” Ms Stevens continued.
The launch also coincides with the Hands Across Canberra charity event, and Fearless Women is hoping to receive donations from the community to help them continue to deliver Fearless Future to schools in Canberra.
“Fearless Future aligns with the Australian curriculum, is backed by contemporary theory, and is delivered with practical guidance to those girls who have not had access to anything like it. Schools struggle to refer young women in their cohort to supports that may be available,” Ms Stevens said.
Fearless Women also offers a one-on-one mentoring program.
“We have just paired up our third mentoring group. The mentors provide guidance and support and are there to be a positive role model to the young woman they are mentoring. Since our pilot group launched in spring last year, 100% of caregivers have already recognised a positive change in the mentee. Our caregivers have seen improvement across overall confidence, trialling healthy behaviours, willingness to seek support and a more positive outlook on their future” Ms Stevens concluded.
The mentoring program is free and relies on volunteer mentors to provide support, positive role modelling, a sense of belonging, and encouraging healthy skills development for their mentee.
Fearless Women is currently accepting applications for the mentoring program. To learn more about the program or to apply, please visit our website at www.fearlesswomen.org.au.
For more information, images or to arrange an interview, please contact Glenda Stevens, CEO Fearless Women on 0405 900 360 or email@example.com.