Narrative 4 Established in Ireland: About Us
Narrative 4 Ireland was established in 2016 and is a registered Irish charity. We have licensed the Story Exchange programme from the US based Narrative 4 Inc. We have also developed some new empathy education units for Irish classrooms. We believe stories have an innate power to create empathy in society.
Empathy education teaches young people social and emotional skills and improves wellbeing. It ends division. Ends Prejudice. Ends Stereotyping. Ends Exclusion. Ends Hate. The Story Exchange builds peer support within the classroom by breaking down barriers and forging connection.
The problem Narrative 4 Ireland addresses is poor youth mental health.
Our plugged-in, high pressure culture is leading to a decrease in self-regulation, perspective taking, peer support and empathy levels in youth. These factors impact upon young people’s sense of wellbeing and, if left unchecked, can lead to isolation and poor mental health. Poor youth mental health is a growing issue; Irish young people need preventive tools and more support.
The Solution Our solution is to create a culture of care and empathy among young people . We train secondary school teachers and youth workers to facilitate the evidence based empathy education programme (link to become a facilitator). The training equips educators with more tools to empower young people with wellbeing strategies for the 21st century. The Story Exchange is an innovative educator led model that can be used in any classroom/ youth group. It increases peer support and instills a sense of resilience and belonging by reducing feelings of isolation. Getting young people to share personal stories is a cathartic experience which breaks down barriers, builds trust and reinforces the idea that they are not alone. This programme fulfils the criteria of the Junior Cert wellbeing programme.