ChIPS is a vibrant adolescent peer support program for young people who are:
ChIPS is based at the Royal Children's Hospital (Centre for Adolescent Health) in Melbourne and works to engage young people from metropolitan and rural Victoria.
The ChIPS experience begins with the Eight Week Group or Intensive Group. These groups are facilitated by a health professional and a trained ChIPS peer leader in an informal and supportive environment.
Check out the new ChIPS brochure here
The Eight Week Group meets once a week for 1.5 hours and uses music, art, games and discussion to explore living with chronic illness. The Intensive Group covers the same content but is held over two days in the school holidays, allowing more young people to attend. Each group has six to ten young people in it.
Topics are participant directed and can include:
Here is what one ChIPER had to say about their expereince of Eight Week Group:
"I thought that the eight week group was a great opportunity to open up to people other than your friends and family. At first I wasn't sure about what I should expose about myself, but then I got more confident and realised that they felt the same way about it. I was able to talk to them about pretty much anything."
These have included African Drumming, MCG tour, Master Chef cook off, Zoo visit, Strike bowling and Games and Pizza Night…
3 days full of fun, challenge and laughter, complete with a medical team onboard!
Over two days CHIPERS explore the concept of leadership and learn more about:
A training which explores the skills necessary to be a Peer Leader within the program.
ChIPS is based on youth participation and the Reference Committee is made of a group of 20 ChIPERS that want to actively contribute back to the program through providing ideas and feedback. Within the Reference Committee there are sub committee which are charged with organising socials, the annual camp, publications and advocacy matters. Being part of Reference Committee is a great way to learn new skills and work as part of a team.
The Reference Committee meets once a month for 2 hours at the Royal Children's Hospital.
Here is what one ChIPER had to say about their expereince of Reference Committee:
"I am part of the ChIPS reference committee so I can give back to ChIPS what ChIPS has given me. Through the reference committee I get to help ChIPS function, as well as learning skills in leadership and teamwork. It is an amazing way to work towards a common goal with my friends that are in similar situation as myself."
Being a ChIPS member also means you will be able to keep up to date with what is happening in the program through the ChILL newsletter and annual Wrapper magazine.
A component of the ChIPS program is to inform the community about the impact that chronic illness has on young people's lives. The main avenue for raising awareness is through public speaking presentations within the community. These involve young people sharing their story of having a chronic illness and their experiences within the ChIPS program, along with an outline of the ChIPS program structure history and referral process.
ChIPERS also promote ChIPS directly to young people with chronic illness by regularly visiting wards at the Royal Children's Hospital.
If you would like more information on these presentations please contact, ChIPS Team Leader Jarnia Cameron
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Telephone +61 3 9345 5522
50 Flemington Road Parkville
Victoria 3052 Australia