Mental health: Australia’s BMX program is running success among youth

Teenagers in South Australia are using BMX bikes as a form of stress reduction.
Young people who had a difficult begining in life might be engaged in weekly workshops held by the Adelaide nonprofit Lighthouse Youth Projects.

Coaching in BMX and mentoring in life skills are both part of the curriculum.

Sessions take place at metropolitan Adelaide’s schools, but rural cities like Port Pirie and Murray Bridge have also conducted engagement days. Some individuals referred to the assistance as a “lifesaver.”

Dylan, 14, has only been a participant in the program for a year, but he claims it has given him the tools to handle his issues.

Instead of resorting to anti-social behavior, mentors in the program urged him to employ calming techniques.

“Walk away when I’m angry and take my bike out. In other cases, they (the mentors) have even come to me at my convenience, Dylan remarked. Everyone who participated in it benefited from it both mentally and physically.

I now feel more assured about my appearance and more at ease riding a bike.
Jacob, 15, claimed that being a member of the program has improved his attendance at school.

Jacob admitted that there was a moment when he “simply wasn’t feeling it.” “I was only at home for around two days a week, and my mental health was affected,” he stated.
Jamie Moore, a co-founder of Lighthouse Youth Projects, claimed that biking saved his life.

He wants more young people to use riding as a means of overcoming their own issues.
“We simply feel that the best thing you can do when those things happen to you is ride a bike,” Mr. Moore said. “Get out with people that actually care about you and also want to ride a bike.”

“We notice a significant improvement in the children we frequently work with.”
One of the most important KPIs we can measure is how often people attend these programs. They never miss a show.

Instead of more conventional counseling programs, the mentors at the Lighthouse Youth Project think a pragmatic approach is the best course of action. We operate extremely practically, so it seems quite clinical to us.

It’s far simpler than, say, speaking with a counselor or something similar. It’s easier to have chats when you’re working together.

Lighthouse Youth Projects wants to increase the number of young South Australians it assists.

There have been negotiations, according to Mr. Moore, but the charity needs additional funding first.

The co-founder advised looking at areas like the Riverland and Kangaroo Island that have recently had natural disasters because it is probably the best place to start.

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