School exams, family circumstances, friendship and relationship breakdowns, social pressures, online bullying, finding one’s identity. There are many factors that can affect or influence the mental health and wellbeing of a young person.
Mental illness can be severe for anyone—but it can have a particular effect on children and teenagers if left untreated. Adolescence is vulnerable stage where young people are going through significant neurological development, and where mental illness can have a major impact.
‘Research from the Black Dog Institute tells us that 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25 years*, while Mission Australia’s 2018 Youth Survey shows that 40.9% of ACT respondents believed that mental health was a major issue facing Australia today,’ * said Dr Moore Dr Moore Coordinator-General of the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
‘As parents, family, friends, carers, educators of young people, we need to let our youth know that we can hear them, that we’re here for them.
‘We can help improve their overall wellbeing by giving them information and strategies to be aware of how they’re feeling, how to talk about what they’re experiencing and how to seek help.’
‘Early access to mental health support can also make all the difference. It’s also really important to consider the resilience and strength that supporting each other can bring,’ says Dr Moore.
If your child, or a child you care for, needs mental health support, help is available.
Provide them with assistance to speak to a GP or contact:
For situations that require immediate attention, call Access Mental Health on 1800 629 354 or 02 6205 1065.
A review of Children and Young People’ s Mental Health and Wellbeing
Over the coming months, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing will be working with lead agencies (including educational institutions and professional bodies) to undertake a review of Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the ACT. The review will look at the needs of 0-25 year olds (with a focus on 8-12 year olds).
‘The Children and Young People Review will be undertaken across the continuum, building on work being done by government and non-government. Together we’ll identify areas of need and co-design solutions to help better support Canberra’s young people, their families, carers and the community,’ said Dr Moore.
More broadly, the ACT Government is committed to working with Canberrans and the ACT community to ensure that more young Canberrans can access the right mental health support and services at an early stage, before concerns become acute. Initiatives and work currently underway include:
If you would like to be involved in the work of the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing, please email your interest via email OfficeforMHW@act.gov.au or call 5124 9600.
Black Dog Institute