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New Program to Boost Youth Mental Health

Created Monday, 13 February 2017 in News
Mentally Healthy WA has announced a new program to boost youth mental health, launched by the Minister for Mental Health the Hon. Andrea Mitchell MLA.

Following a successful trial last year, Youth Connectors is based on the Act-Belong-Commit principles for good mental health, and aims to empower young people to help their peers get involved in mentally healthy activities.

Mental illness is the number one issue affecting young people aged 16 to 25 in Australia, with one in four experiencing a mental illness each year.

“There are things young people can do to build their resilience and ward off mental health problems” says Project Officer Darci Miller.

“The idea is that young people who become Connectors will be a local source of information on how to get involved in activities known to boost mental health, like sports, arts and volunteering” Ms Miller added.

Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said the sad reality was that mental health disorders affected about a quarter of young Australians in any year.

“Talking openly about mental health and mental illness is essential to enabling people to get the help and support they need when they need it,” Minister Mitchell said.

“The Youth Connectors Program will take the highly successful Act-Belong-Commit campaign directly to young people and I commend Act-Belong-Commit for demonstrating their commitment to the mental health of young people through this initiative.

“I look forward to hearing about the engagement of young people with the Youth Connectors Program and its positive influence on their mental health and wellbeing.”

This year Mentally Healthy WA is aiming to travel around WA to train at least 300 young people as connectors.

To become a Youth Connecter, young people take part in a of a two hour fun and interactive workshop and stay in touch with Ms Miller and each other through a private social media group dedicated to connectors.

“Suicide is the number one killer for youth in Australia. By educating young people how to be mentally healthy and how to encourage their peers to do same we are hopefully going to reduce the onset of mental illness”.

The Youth Connectors program is funded by Healthway.
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