As the calendar flips to November, we start to notice the feelings of a year wrapping up! When we are in school or university, the feeling can be quite intense with exams, finals and assessments lurking over our shoulder. Things change slightly when working out there in the “real world” yet other feelings remain: summer, Christmas, time with loved ones and reflecting on the year…
Character Care (located in Moorooka) has officially had it’s doors open for the better part of this year. While we offer mental health support services of psychology and counselling, we are active in the community behind the scenes. A major part of our work is hosting university students who are aspiring psychologists and/or counsellors, gaining an experience of what the mental health world looks like. It has been an absolute pleasure hosting and supervising our bright future and I myself (Matt) have learned a great deal from them all: highlighting to me that no matter how long I am out of university, we still learn valuable lessons each day!
To celebrate and reflect on our inaugural year of operation, we are posting a series of blogs written by our various students from placement over the year. Some have already been posted earlier in the year, others will be posted over the remainder of the year. One of our philosophies at Character Group is to provide space for the people we care for, to Step Up and give things a go, empowering them to build confidence, push their boundaries, and value their own character in who they are! In this same light, it is with great pleasure to introduce our student’s work and to get an insight into how our future sees the world and their experiences around them! If any of the blogs spark questions, please comment on our web page or social media, give us a like and share!
Our first blog describes the Character Development in a nut shell, so where better place to begin the series right? I enjoyed witnessing this particular student’s growth with us as she certainly pushed her boundaries and did an exceptional job of Stepping Up!
“Character Development” by Kelsey
The missions and practices of both Character Builders and Character Care place emphasis on the development of their client’s character, as character development is essential for identifying personal strengths and abilities that can help individuals throughout their life. Character development involves attaining the feelings, thoughts, and skills needed to act coherently at any time and place to serve one’s self and others in mutually beneficial and positive ways.
Lerner (2009) aimed to identify the individual and ecological relationships that may promote thriving in adolescents, and suggested that there are three key features to successful character development:
- mentors and models
- skill-building opportunities
- leadership opportunities.
Lerner suggested that community support can enhance character development through programs that provide life-skill building activities, opportunities to participate in leadership activities, and positive and sustained relationships between other youth and competent, caring, available adults, such as a mentor or teacher. Character Builders and Character Care effectively provide their clients with access to Lerner’s three key features of successful character development through their skill-building exercises, leadership activities, and connection with potential mentors. By providing these opportunities, Character Builders and Character Care help their clients to identify their personal strengths, successfully increasing their likelihood of thriving throughout their life.