HELP SHAPE BRIGHT FU­TURE FOR YOUTH

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - CHRISTMAS -

HUN­DREDS of young Western Aus­tralians with men­tal health is­sues will re­quire ex­tra in­ter­ven­tion in early 2017, ac­cord­ing to Youth Fo­cus chief ex­ec­u­tive Fiona Kalaf.

As the Bur­swood-based men­tal health or­gan­i­sa­tion launched its sum­mer fundrais­ing cam­paign, with the theme of Shap­ing Brighter Futures, Ms Kalaf high­lighted is­sues as­so­ci­ated with study.

“The start of the school year of­ten el­e­vates stress lev­els in stu­dents for whom school ag­gra­vates is­sues, in­clud­ing bul­ly­ing, aca­demic stress, lone­li­ness and peer pres­sure,” she said.

“And this can be ex­ac­er­bated in those stu­dents who lack the per­sonal re­silience to cope with these stres­sors.

“That is why it is so im­por­tant that Youth Fo­cus con­tin­ues to have the pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity to meet de­mand and in­ter­vene early to en­sure these young peo­ple can be­come re­silient adults.”

Ms Kalaf said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was ap­peal­ing to the public to make a do­na­tion to help shape a brighter fu­ture for young peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues.

“Ev­ery $3000 raised will en­able a young per­son to re­ceive the av­er­age six months pro­fes­sional coun­selling that can make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence to their lives,” she said.

“Your do­na­tions will be in­valu­able for the thou­sands of young peo­ple who will re­ceive free face-to-face coun­selling next year and the peo­ple who will con­nect with Youth Fo­cus through school and work­place ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions.”

Youth Fo­cus is a WA or­gan­i­sa­tion that aims to help young peo­ple aged be­tween 12 and 25 deal with men­tal health is­sues, and works to pre­vent sui­cide.

Ms Kalaf said al­most 40 per cent of re­fer­rals to Youth Fo­cus came through schools, with re­gional schools ac­count­ing for 64 per cent of those school re­fer­rals.

“Sui­cide is the lead­ing cause of death for our chil­dren un­der the age of 18 and the lead­ing cause of death for young adults aged 18 to 25,” she said.

“But our treat­ment model based on easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity and early in­ter­ven­tion un­equiv­o­cally shows that young lives can be saved.

If you would like to do­nate, visit www.youth­fo­cus.com.au /do­nate or text the word ‘SHAPE’ to 0497 222 555.

If you are a young per­son need­ing sup­port, or if you know of some­one who may need some help, call Youth Fo­cus on 6266 4333.

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