Focus put on charity boss
YOUTH Focus chief executive Jenny Allen was recognised for her contribution to the mental health sector in WA by receiving the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mental Health last week.
The Churchlands resident spent the past 15 years at the helm of Youth Focus, an organisation that provides free expert mental health services to more than 2000 young people at risk of suicide each year.
Ms Allen said she was honoured to have been recognised at the State Government’s Mental Health Good Outcomes Awards but there was still work to be done.
“Youth suicide is still the biggest killer of young people under 25 in Australia. This award is not for me but for Youth Focus and for all who work to improve the lives of our young people: our staff, our partners in the sector and our sponsors who make it all possible,” she said.
Ms Allen said the greatest change she had seen during her time at Youth Focus was in education.
“There is a whole-of-community responsibility to recognise that a huge social problem existed and chipping away at the stigma surrounding youth suicide is important,” she said.
Ms Allen is an executive director of the Youth Focus board, as well as the only West Australian on the Board of Suicide Prevention Australia, the national peak body for suicide prevention. Her term as Youth Focus chief executive will end at the end of this year.
Youth Focus chief executive Jenny Allen.