Call to put fo­cus on youth men­tal health

Wanneroo Weekender - - News - Tyler Brown

“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.

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