Focus on helping others this Christmas
THE 2015 Youth Focus Christmas Appeal will help people struggling from mental health issues.
Chief executive Jenny Allen, of Churchlands, has used Michael’s story to show how Youth Focus can help young people who are struggling with debilitating anxiety.
Ms Allen said it often left him in a state where he could not breathe, think or act.
“By 15, he was so depressed he was admitted to a mental illness hospital,” she said.
“You’d be pleased to know that Michael reached out to Youth Focus and worked with his counsellor for over 12 months, learning strategies to manage his emotions and identify what was driving his behaviour.
“Michael started smiling more; he found new friends and commenced a romantic relationship with a young woman who shares his passion for life.
“He also won a leadership scholarship and is now an enthusiastic university student.
“Michael wants to be a youth worker and be able to help other young people through his own experience.”
As well as raising awareness for the Youth Focus Christmas Appeal, Ms Allen is looking forward to spending time with her family over the festive season. What does Christmas mean to you? For me, Christmas is a time to rejoice in how lucky we are and to think about others who aren't so lucky, both here in Australia and especially overseas in war-torn countries, poverty, pain and hardship. What is your Christmas Day tradition? Our family tradition is just that: to be together, eat and drink together, and give one another loads of love.
What does your Christmas Day menu include?
For us, it’s everything from ham, turkey and seafood with heaps of salads and, of course, several desserts including plum pudding and Christmas ice cream and also the not to be forgotten trifle. Your Christmas wish for 2015? My Christmas wish for 2015 is to be kind to myself and to spend more precious time with family and friends.
Best Christmas present you have received or given?
I love to give and so my daughter has bought a new house with her new husband and I love to spoil them with something special each year: last year, nice outdoor furniture. For me, I love good jewellery and have had some lovely sparkles over the years.
Premier and Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett is looking forward to relaxing and reflecting on the past year this Christmas.
Youth Focus Chief Executive Jenny Allen.