Did you know that 1 in 16 young people experience a Depressive Disorder and I in 6 experience an Anxiety condition? http://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts
With figures like this, NCNS in partnership with Family Planning, NSW Health Drug & Alcohol Promotion Unit, Headspace, and Breakthru Employment decided that during Mental Health Month in October we would try to raise awareness of Mental Health conditions among young people.
Through receiving a grant from the Mental Health Association we were able to assemble and distribute 350 packs containing information for young people on Depression, Anxiety, Drug & Alcohol use, Self Harm, Suicide Prevention, Cyberbullying, Healthy Relationships and local service providers.
We also wanted to know what our local young people thought were the 3 main issues affecting young people that they knew. Young people were given the following options to choose from – Depression, Anxiety, Bullying, Drugs, Alcohol, Self Harm, Racism, Stress and Sexual Identity. Over a period of 3 weeks, 609 young people from a range of Secondary Educational Institutions completed the survey with the following results; 71.9% chose Bullying, 43.8% chose Depression and 41.9% chose Drugs.
From this information the above services will be able to provide Secondary Schools with programs and / or resources to assist in educating young people on these issues.
The theme for Mental Health Month was “Be YOUnique”. We asked and sometimes challenged young people to think about a positive attribute they had (we all can immediately identify our weaknesses but are usually challenged when trying to think of something positive to say about ourselves) they then wrote that attribute on a whiteboard and we photographed them with it. The young person kept the photo as a reminder to think positively about themselves more often.