More aid needed for kids at risk
TOO many children are falling through the gaps when it comes to accessing mental health support, according to Mt Druitt Learning Ground project manager Debbie Higgison.
In response to the death of a 10-year-old indigenous girl in remote Western Australia at the start of the month, Ms Higgison told The Standard more needed to be done to help children and their families as early as possible.
Ms Higgison has spent close to 10 years helping to steer troubled youth back to school. The focus – until recently – was only on high school children but Ms Higgison said she and her team knew there was a need for earlier intervention.
She said too many children were falling through the gaps, with very limited options offering support to troubled pre-teens. “There is nothing for that age group: we’ve seen kids aged eight, nine and 10 crying out for help,” Ms Higgison said.
She said not all children even knew how to discuss suicide and didn’t want to burden parents. “We’ve had some kids draw a picture or say something, and all we can do is let their parents know,” Ms Higgison said.
“Even then the only option for parents is to get a referral to a paediatrician.”
If you are aged 5-25 and would like to talk, call Kids Helpline free on 1800 55 1800.
Debbie Higson from Learning Ground.