The fight continues for youth mental health services in Monash

 11 July 2017

mental health campaign mayor and students

Monash youth, Monash Council and Link Health and Community are continuing the fight for a local dedicated mental health facility for youth in Monash after repeated calls for a Headspace facility have once again gone unanswered. 

Monash Mayor Rebecca Paterson and Link Health and Community Chair Felicity Smith said it was time to move on from asking the Federal Goverment to fund a Headspace for Monash. The focus now is on creating a Monash youth health service designed specifically by Monash youth to meet their needs.

“It won’t be a Headspace but it will be our space, for our youth,” Cr Paterson said.

Over the next few months Monash Council and Link Health and Community will be designing a responsive model for Monash after going out to the community visiting schools, events and neighbourhoods seeking input into what this local mental health service should deliver.

They want to hear from all community members about what the service should be but particularly from young people.

“This issue is close to my heart. When young people get the help they need, our whole community is better for it,” Cr Paterson said.

“They need to be able to access quality mental health services close to home. This is an opportunity for us as a community to come together to do something to help our young people thrive by creating a local mental health service shaped by our community, for our community.”

Ms Smith said it was time state and federal government representatives demonstrated their commitment to the wellbeing of Monash youth.

“While there’s plenty of talk about the importance of mental health, the urgent need for youth mental health services in Monash remains unmet with dire consequences for young people and our community,” Ms Smith said.

“We won’t turn our backs on young people in Monash. We’re committed to doing everything we can, and we will finally deliver youth mental health services in Monash, with or without Headspace.”

Young people repeatedly say that Mental Health issues continue to be their biggest concern for young people in Monash. The statistics back up their concerns. The 2017 Resilience Survey was conducted in schools across Monash by Resilient Youth Australia in 2017 with more than 9,600 young people taking part.

The survey found:

  • 18% of females and 16% of males are considered to have acute mental health issues

     

  • 54% of young people have low to fair levels of resilience

     

  • 36% of students report they are losing sleep through worry

     

  • 64% of young people have depleted or borderline levels of positive identity

     

  • 37% of female students report they have a low positive identity

     

  • 27% of young people do not feel valued and appreciated by others

     

  • 23% of students are feeling worthless

     

  • 31% of students are unhappy and depressed

     

  • 39% of students have depleted or borderline engagement in education

     

  • 37% of students report feeling constantly under strain.

 

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