The Straight Talk Manual

Empowering kids to help themselves

The Straight Talk Manual

Empowering kids to help themselves

About

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Hi, my name is Diane Brokenshire and I’m the author of The Straight Talk Manual, The Straight Talk Game and the creator of both The Caring About Kids Workshop and The Straight Talk Girl's Club.

If you work or live with young people, these popular life skills resources can help YOU help them to help themselves.

Lets talk about any questions or comments by contacting me by email or phone or use
the contact form.
With a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and 30 years as a teacher and youth worker, I've created a user friendly life-skills workbook enjoyed by kids across Australia.

My passion now is focussed on delivering The Caring About Kids Workshop and continuing the development of The Straight Talk Manual while maintaining contact with a shelter for homeless teens in Hobart where she worked for many years.

I hope to see you at an upcoming session of the workshops!
The inspiration for this work came from my own family’s experience with mental illness and substance abuse. My brothers and I were raised in California by our mother whose life had been turned upside down by the suicide of her 1st husband. She was deeply traumatized by this event but never received any counselling or support; instead she kept her difficult and painful feelings to herself.
 
Our mother eventually became mentally unwell, turning to alcohol and prescription drugs to cope with her grief and eventually found herself in psychiatric care. This was the beginning of her long and rocky journey with the American Mental Health System.
 
Mom’s behaviour was often unpredictable, confusing, embarrassing and occasionally violent resulting in my brothers and I living in a constant state of high alert (often fear) of what was going to happen next. Sadly, we didn’t have the communication skills to talk to anyone about what we were going through.

No one, including teachers, principals, neighbours, relatives, doctors, psychiatrists, detox workers or the police knew how to help us and instead appeared not to notice the severity of our situation. That was the 1960s when mental illness and substance abuse were still in the closet.

As a young adult I became passionate about helping other kids in similar situations and chose a teaching career. Later I completed a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education with my thesis being a handbook for teachers to recognise and respond to troubled kids. This was the beginning of many years developing Straight Talk.