The Courier-Mail

Youth depression on rise

Islamic school working to foil terror recruiters

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THE number of young Australian­s seeking help for mental health issues has doubled in 15 years, with one in seven children experienci­ng a mental disorder in the previous 12 months, new research has found.

The largest national survey of youth mental health in Australia was released yesterday and Health Minister Sussan Ley called the results “confrontin­g”. The last survey of its kind was done in 1998. Ms Leyy said while cases of ADHD, the most common disorder in youths, were falling there was a significan­t rise in the number of major depressive disorders.

The survey also found as many as one in 10 teenagers had self-harmed, with a quarter of teenage girls aged 16-17 self-harming.

One in five girls aged 16-17 were found to meet criteria for a major depressive disorder. BRISBANE’S Islamic College has implemente­d “safeguards’’ to stop any of its 1000-plus students being recruited by terror groups.

Interim principal Ray Barrett (pictured) said staff at the Karawatha-based college were continuall­y scanning students for potential radicalisa­tion.

“We are aware and cons stantly on the lookout, and we have good co-operation with authoritie­s who have guide- lines around people being withdrawn, reclusive and so on,’’ he said.

While there was always the risk students could fall under the influence of terrorist propaganda, Dr Barrett said the threat to his students was reduced. “If you look at the incidences where reports of radicalisa­tion occur, they haven’t been in Islamic schools,’’ he said.

The New South Wales Gov- ernment this week announced a sweeping audit of prayer groups across state schools, amid fears ISIS-inspired ideology had infiltrate­d the system through religious education programs. The move followed revelation­s counter-terrorism police were investigat­ing allegation­s a 17-year-old student at Sydney’s Epping Boys High School was preaching ISIS ideology in the playground. NEIL DOORLEY

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