Call to put focus on youth mental health
“A LIFE of giving is a life worth living” were the words philanthropist Ros Worthington used to start her address at the City of Joondalup’s Mayoral Prayer Breakfast last week.
“Every day it is within all of us to be able to give, whether it’s a smile or whatever someone needs in their life,” she said.
“That has been a practice for me every day in my life. The work I do is work that I believe we all should do in our community.”
Held during Mental Health Week, Dr Worthington used her keynote address to talk about her work with Lifeline WA and some of the mental health issues “our young ones” are facing.
“Fifteen years ago, the day my granddaughter was born, I buried my husband,” she said. “He was 51 years old and he took his own life.”
She said the rate of suicide saw one person die every four hours.
“We must start early,” she said. “We need to normalise mental health in schools. “We need to try and listen more to our youth. “So many teenagers are suffering with so many illnesses. This is why I want it to be in the school curriculum. Teens are now taking their lives more than ever.”
She urged people to “be kind to one another, reach out to young people and listen, listen, listen”. She also encouraged attendees to give generously to Lifeline WA who “do amazing work in our community”.
“At the moment, Lifeline for us in WA is a little office down the end of Aberdeen Street where our crisis counsellors – who are heroes and all volunteers – work but they can still only take 50 per cent of the calls,” she said. “That’s how desperate they are.” Almost $1500 in donations for Lifeline WA was collected at the breakfast and St Mark’s Anglican Community School also revealed it had made an online donation of $1000 from fundraising throughout the year.
The annual Mayoral Prayer Breakfast sees civic and Christian leaders join local school students at Joondalup Resort to pray for the City and its 161,000 residents.
This year’s event, themed ‘The Power of Giving’, was the 12th and final for Mayor Troy Pickard.
“I will miss the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast as it’s an important annual event that brings our community together in prayer,” he said.
“It’s often been said no one has become poor by giving and the theme of The Power of Giving resonates with what we aspire to be as an active and engaged community.
“Our City is lucky to have a variety of charities, churches, service groups and volunteer organisations that devote their time to giving to others, whether that is through humanitarian projects, fundraising efforts and community-focused activities or volunteerism. We are also blessed to be home to so many givers, people who volunteer their time to others for the betterment of the community.”
Mayor Troy Pickard, Ros Worthington and chief executive Garry Hunt.
Gerard Keehan, Mari Moore, Onesimo Yugusuk and Luke Gilbert.