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Sharks supporting Open Parachute to protect the mental health of local youth

Open Parachute, an in-school mental health program designed to promote social and emotional development, is the only adolescent program of its type introducing peer-to-peer methods as part of the core curriculum.   

Devised by clinical psychologist Dr Hayley Watson, Open Parachute shows students others their age going through similar issues, including bullying, social media, anxiety, grief, addiction, body image, boundaries and consent, depression and more.

It teaches the coping mechanisms needed to deal with the challenges they are sure to face at some point in their lives.

And now the Sharks in partnering with The Sebastian Foundation, the charity of Guy and Jules Sebastian, are throwing their support behind One Parachute in helping to protect the mental health of young people.

Originally designed for students from Year 5 and up, the program has recently been expanded to begin educating on the important life skills from the very beginning of their schooling.

Guy Sebastian will join Sharks Group CEO Dino Mezzatesta and Dr Haley Watson the clinical psychologist behind the program, in presenting a virtual information session about Open Parachute and how schools can take part and become involved. This information session will be hosted virtually from 9.30am on Wednesday, March 23. To register your interest in the free session, follow the link: CLICK HERE  

It costs $30 to put a child through this program, with Sharks Have Heart and The Sebastian Foundation to fund and subsidise Open Parachute for Sutherland Shire schools and its students.

In helping to deliver Open Parachute to local area schools, clothing bins provided by E-Thread, will be set up to accept collections at Sharks home games during the 2022 season. The commercial arrangement with E-Thread, will enable Sharks Have Heart to help to fund the program.

For more on Open Parachute and the work they do, go to their website at For more information on The Sebastian Foundation visit while schools interested in taking part in the Zoom presentation, please email [email protected]

Open Parachute also has complementary programs for teachers and parents to allow them to best support students as they go through the program.


About Open Parachute
Open Parachute is a team of clinical psychologists, program developers, educators, filmmakers and storytellers. Using their collective expertise, they create cutting-edge well-being programs using documentary films to engage and upskill students, parents and teachers in a way that has never been done before.

Well-being should be a right not a privilege. Every student deserves to learn skills that will help them reach their fullest potential.

A clinical psychologist with a PhD in bullying interventions from Macquarie University, Dr Hayley Watson, has been creating and delivering intervention programs globally for the past 15 years.

Dr Watson, who devised Open Parachute, has a research partnership with Columbia University, with the program being implemented in the UK and USA, along with it being rolled out in schools across Australia.

It is a ground-breaking school program that aims to make a difference in the mental health of adolescents, helping them to understand and survive issues such as low self-esteem, trauma, abuse, bullying/friendship difficulties, addiction, eating/body image issues, depression/anxiety and loss/grief at an extremely vulnerable time in their lives.

For more on Open Parachute, CLICK HERE



Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.