We are Mindful KITES, a non-profit organization committed to the teaching and nuturing of good mental health practices, mindfulness and emotional resilience, geared towards empowering our nation’s children and young people.
Meet the Team
Our organization is led by a team with more than 20 years’ collective experience of working with children and young people, and we are passionate about delivering the curriculum we have collaboratively developed.
Dr. Paula Robertson
Dr. Asha Pemberton
Consultant Adolescent Medicine Specialist
Photo credit: Melanie Eva Photography
In 2018, Kaylan and Paula had already shared a few primary school initiatives where they spoke with parents on mind-body health issues like healthy eating, exercise, sleep and managing screen time. They both realised they shared a common interest in helping foster mind-body health and good mental health practices in children and young people. Kaylan already had experience with teaching mindfulness in her own practice and in her daughter’s primary school. Paula had noticed a number of young people presenting to the emergency department with stress related symptoms; she had started teaching teachers and students about mindfulness and emotional resilience as part of the North Central RHA SunReach (Schools United with NCRHA) initiative.
Kaylan and Paula decided to meet and bring together like-minded individuals to help change the conversations in our nation’s classrooms. Rishma Rampersad and Raquel Matthews joined the team. Rishma also had considerable experience teaching mindfulness at primary school level, and in her own life as an alternative health practitioner. Raquel brought a wealth of experience as a school psychologist, where she had dealt with a number of emotional issues in the classroom setting.
Asha Pemberton completed the team. As a specialist in teen and adolescent health, Asha had a valuable and unique perspective in understanding the young person’s brain and strategies to help support good mental health and emotional resilience, to help shape emotionally healthy adults. She had also been a key component of the CALM (Child and Adolescent Living with Mental Health) clinic run by the NCRHA.
From our first meeting over coffee in August 2018, it was clear that the team shared a passion for young people and a vision for helping support mental health and fitness from a young age, fostering good habits from early on. Over several subsequent meetings, our vision and mission were fine tuned, and we developed a yearly curriculum to help bring these concepts to the classroom. Our name and logo underwent many changes, but the final version reflects who we are and what we stand for. We loved the playfulness and motion of the kite, which moved with the ever-changing wind but was rooted and anchored by its core values. Even the word KITES reflected our vision: Knowing, Inspiring, Teaching and Empowering Students.
We met with and engaged school principals, and found that there was great interest and support of our vision and programme. Our first classroom sessions in two secondary schools started in September 2019, and we look forward to many more as we grow and expand.
Together we are Mindful Kites, a team of awesome women dedicated to inspiring our nation’s youth and fostering mental health in the classroom and beyond. Please support us and join our cause!