Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

STAR­TLING new re­search has re­vealed the shocking role that "stigma" plays in pre­vent­ing young Aus­tralians seek­ing help for men­tal health is­sues.

Each year, a quar­ter of all young peo­ple in this coun­try will ex­pe­ri­ence men­tal health is­sues, but many of them will not seek the help that they need.

Re­search has re­vealed that 26 per cent of young Aus­tralians aged 12-25 would not tell any­one about a per­sonal men­tal health is­sue.

Stigma plays a pro­found and sig­nif­i­cant role in stop­ping youth from seek­ing help for men­tal health is­sues. It can make it harder to ask for help and get sup­port out of fear of be­ing judged.

To com­bat stigma, headspace has launched a na­tional aware­ness cam­paign aimed at in­form­ing Aus­tralians that the more we talk openly about men­tal health is­sues, the eas­ier it be­comes for young peo­ple to seek help for them.

We are invit­ing ev­ery­one across the coun­try to join us on our new dig­i­tal hub, com­plete with a vir­tual stigma to tear down, and links to re­sources and tools for friends and fam­ily seek­ing to sup­port youth with men­tal health is­sues at www.the­bigstigma.com.au CHRIS TANTI, chief ex­ec­u­tive, headspace

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