“How to respond to people in distress was easy to follow and understand! Your passion for young people and ability to communicate made the course engaging and useful.”
Monica Pallas, Head Teacher of Wellbeing
“Oh, it was excellent. It was clear, compact information was was very practical and easy for anyone to attempt. I was so incredibly impressed with your work Stephen and after losing both my younger brothers to suicide and watching the professionals fall short so many times, I can only hope that everyone working in mental health follows this model and stops using the restrain and sedate method because it is so useless for long term management and care.”
“This was perfect for teachers in a busy school setting. It gave the pertinent information without being too long. If a course such as this is too long, it can lose people’s attention. The fact that you can learn more with an additional course is great.”
Belinda Barnes – Teacher
“Stephen is a fantastic presenter with “on the ground” experience to share to help us understand the right responses to distress.”
Katrina Brennan – Leader of Wellbeing
“Useful framework to support young people who are experiencing distress at school. Can be implemented as part of the schools behaviour support plan”.
Catrin Martin – School Counsellor and Registered Psychologist
“Thankyou – you validated what we do but showed us how to care for ourselves and others in a more positive and proactive way – not just being reactive to situations.”
De Anna Addicoat – Ministry Coordinator at St Mary’s Gateshead
“I believe every principal should see this workshop so that it filters down to all. The simplicity of the framework makes it easy to fit all students”.
Stephanie Hopkins – Principal at Arranounbai School
“I think all parents and community members would benefit from this training it could stop intergenerational dis attachment. I could listen to the facilitator all day, very engaging.”
Danielle Smith – Caseworker
“As a program manager, this training gave me the tools to assist staff in supervision and how to respond effectively when working with young people in distress. Training provided great examples and Steve provided a lot of valuable knowledge.”
Donna Davis – Program Manager
The Coach 2 Cope course was an invaluable experience for the Wellbeing Team at our school. Over the course of an afternoon, Stephen and Ben facilitated a series of engaging and practical sessions that equipped our staff with the real-life skills and knowledge to more effectively support students with mental health issues. Stephen’s empathy, compassion and expertise in assisting young people in distress was evident, and the course provided useful and empowering strategies to complement our existing internal and department policies and procedures. I highly recommend the evidence-based training and comprehensive resources that the Coach 2 Cope course provides for all educators who support young people to navigate complex and often distressing mental health challenges.
Jess Grundy – Year Advisor and
“I’ve been working with Dr Stephen Spencer since May 2018 and since then over 1000 Education staff in the Hunter have attended his training. He builds the capacity of school staff to respond as educators to students who need additional support at school.
The benefit is an evidence-based training program assisting as educators to compassionately hold the distress of young people and respond appropriately. The training also facilitates a gentle shift in mindset that allows school staff to respond quickly and appropriately to the emotional needs of the child in their moment of distress without focusing on undesirable behaviours.
The consistency of the training means we are also reaching a point of having a shared language and understanding about emotional dysregulation, emotional distress and how to be a calm responder.
The greatest challenges I see while supporting students with complex mental health needs now sit within schools who have not participated in Steve’s training.
The difference it makes is significant.”
Catherine Hughes – School-Link Coordinator Hunter Region – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
“Enjoyed the presentation and it has given me lots of tools for both work and home”
Melanie McCann – Youth Employment Worker
“Definitely going to recommend to other organisations and my daughter as a kinder teacher”
Tania Burton – Parent Support Worker
“Brilliant practical resources and information. I can see how I can use the plans straight away. It’s filled a gap where I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Carrie Garth – Wellbeing Teacher
“Really insightful and wish I’d heard this earlier. Glad to have soon and heard stuff that helps, adds to and explains what we do and how to support what we do. Teacher welfare is an overlooked area.”
Megan Herdman – Classroom Teacher
“Every educator needs to experience this professional learning. Every, teacher, every school, every school employee will benefit from this teams’ expertise.”
Gwen Haynes – Class Teacher
“For so many teachers advice to fail forwards – to do your best in the moment is not often shared with us. For some of us who are between settings we are expected to perform even higher – we love to learn/teach so new ideas in support are so welcome!”
Janna Brown – Itinerant Support Teacher Vision
“Incredibly relatable, practical and informative. Thanks!!”
Lucy P – Teacher
“Many thanks for your time and passion for this learning experience. Probably the most important course teachers will ever take.”
Daniel Ringis – Teacher
“This training should be included in pre-service teacher training or early years teacher training – because it’s the reality of what we deal with every day. I wish I had this training earlier.”
Megan Thompson – Assistant Principal
Dr Steve gave an excellent presentation with personal anecdotes from his profession and a valuable ‘toolkit’ to work with our young people. I would love for our whole school to do professional learning with Dr Stephen Spencer.
Andrea Aitken – Educator
Outstanding presentation delivered in a professional, passionate and practical manner. Amazing.
Kevin Ruddy – Head Teacher Wellbeing
Thank you for coming out to Berkeley Vale Public School. It was a fantastic day, the executive took a lot from their session and have already identified how they can start using these strategies into their practice to support young people. The teachers also enjoyed their session and left with a better understanding of mental health and how we can support students to build coping measures. The most important take away was the importance of relationship building!
Hannah Carew – Deputy Principal, Berkeley Vale Public School
We cannot thank Steve and Equi Energy Youth enough! Steve conducted a brilliant professional development seminar for our Wellbeing Team which was attended by all Year Advisors, School Counsellors, our Student Support Officer, School Chaplain and myself – the Head Teacher of Wellbeing. The workshop was refreshingly relevant and applicable to the diverse needs of a large, comprehensive high school and the complex needs of our students. Many providers do not understand the complexities that this setting provides, however Steve has a huge amount of experience as well as passion for working with students with mental health concerns and a realistic understanding of the challenges educators face.
Our Wellbeing Team gained a deeper understanding of working with students who have experienced trauma and the science and research behind physiological and neurological responses. We have added strategies and ideas to our tool kit regarding working with students who have experienced trauma, strategies in which I and other team members have personally and successfully used in the classroom on many occasions.
As a result of Steve’s workshop, we have also been able to review and improve our Student Support Plans which support our students with complex mental health needs. Our plans now enable staff, parents, medical professionals and most importantly students to work in partnership to contribute to the plan in order to provide the best possible plan of care for students.
We are looking forward to Steve completing whole school professional development for staff regarding understanding students who have experienced trauma.
Lauren Anderson – Head Teacher Wellbeing
The training with Steve was fantastic. Our service has benefited from both sessions with Steve this year and we will look at him attending our OOSH conference on 2020 for further training. Steve is very engaging and presented well to our large group. Information is informative and we enjoyed the practical group work.
Sue-anne – New Lambton OOSH
Firstly I would like to extend our gratitude for the effort you put into our staff training presentation last night, the information presented was really relevant and suitable to our audience.
This has been a great Segue for future training and reflective practice, we can now extend upon what you have shared with us to unpack how it looks in an early childhood setting specifically. You have engaged the staff in a way that many don’t get to, often presenters are met with Stony silence, it was great to hear educators sharing ideas and building on their knowledge.
I have had numerous conversations today with educators whom have all felt really inspired following the training, as the nominated supervisor this excites me that my team is thinking and challenging their current approach.
Emma Huff – Education Director at Blinkies Early Education Centre
Great training session with lots of practical strategies and examples – a must for all teachers.