We are sad to announce that IME will be taking a break for the foreseeable future. With little-to-no-money, we have been able to run four youth mindfulness retreats within the last two years. We’ve been fortunate enough to have an extraordinary group of profession volunteers to staff our retreats and an extremely skilled team of meditation teachers. We have supported 54 teenagers regarding their mental and emotional wellbeing and have received extremely positive feedback from parents regarding the retreat and how it has supported their children and their families. We have also received letters from teenage participants outlining the life-changing experience they have had.
We have been working tirelessly to secure funding, form partnerships with private enterprise and, sadly, have had unsuccessful meetings with the Minister of Health, Michael Ferguson, and the Minister of Education, Jeremy Rockliff. Both ministers have a good understanding of the outcomes of our programs and have provided positive feedback for the work we do, however, have both declined to provide any financial help to support the on-going work of our organisation.
Our organisation is the only one of its kind in Australia, and operates out of Tasmania. The data that has been generated by Monash University, through a study in to the outcomes of the program on participants mental and emotional wellbeing, has exceeded expectations. It has shown that teenagers have experienced lowered levels of stress and rumination through learning mindfulness and meditation and have developed greater levels of mindfulness, self-compassion and mental wellbeing.
Thank you to all who have been involved with IME’s journey up to this point. Thank you to those who have provided teens with scholarships, supplied produce and goods towards our retreats and gala, and those who have giving countless hours on retreat. Most of all, to each and every single teenager who was brave enough to step in to the IME space, thank you. Learning more about your thoughts, emotions and who you are isn’t always easy. Meditating for five hours a day isn’t easy. Living without your phone for a week isn’t easy ;) Every single one of you participated in the program with openness, integrity, courage and kindness.
While we’re unable to run our week-long retreats, we’ll continue to provide information and resources regarding mindfulness practice and wellbeing strategies on both Facebook and Instagram on a regular basis. We will continue to work hard in to the future to make these unique experiences possible again – maybe it’s all about timing!
Warmly, Grant Milbourne.IME’s Founder + Executive Director.