Fo­cus put on char­ity boss

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Business -

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.

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