Mental health a key focus during National Youth Week 2017

28 March 2017

Recent research indicates that 1 in 5 young people are worried about depression and 1 in 4 young people are at risk of experiencing a mental health issue. It is reported that over 20% of young Australians (15–19 years) meet the criteria for having a probable mental illness, and 60% of these report to be uncomfortable in seeking help or advice for mental illness. Unfortunately, many individuals who would most benefit from mental health assistance do not seek it.1 

Early identification of children and young people at risk of mental illness creates opportunities for intervention that can help to avert or ameliorate problems in later life. Research findings indicate that among those aged 16–24 years, 23% males and 30% females (26% overall) had experienced anxiety, affective or substance use disorders in the previous 12 months2 . One in four young people live with a mental disorder3 . 

During National Youth Week, 31 March-9 April 2017, The Benevolent Society’s Child and Family Wellbeing program clearly wants everyone to consider how young people can be helped and supported. 

Given these compelling statistics, the National Youth Week focus of “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You” is an important reminder for young people to be able to learn to become self accepting. 

“Building emotional resiliency in young people is a key premise behind The Benevolent Society’s Child and Family Wellbeing program which provides services to improve how young people feel about themselves and how they cope with life’s challenges,” says Kylie Williams, Manager, Child and Family Services, Queensland. “The focus on early intervention provides a way for families to get help for their children early when they are concerned about their social and emotional wellbeing.”

The Child and Family Wellbeing Program is an important mental health support program for children and young people up to age 18 years. The Benevolent Society delivers this free service funded by the Department of Social Services in Brisbane’s Northern and Southern suburbs as well as South Western Sydney. 

The flexibility of the Child and Family Wellbeing program allows support for families to occur in a variety of settings – at home, school, in small groups in the community or on a one-to-one basis. In addition, other services offered include: 

- Programs designed to boost resilience in schools and the community by helping teachers and schools understand the impact of trauma and identify emerging mental health issues early 

- Information and community education about mental health issues 

- Support for young people and parents to understand and improve their mental health

- Referral, information and advice for families This is a phone referral service.

For more information, contact the Brisbane North Team on 07 3170 4600, the Brisbane South Team on 07 3441 3000, and the NSW team on 1 800 077 760. 

1 Orlowski, Lawn et al 2016, BMC Health Services Research. 

2 Bassilios et al. Int J Ment Health Syst, 2201, 11:19 

3 ABS, 2008 2


For interviews or more information, please contact: Melanie King, Manager Media Relations & Public Affairs, The Benevolent Society 02 8262 3547 

About The Benevolent Society 

The Benevolent Society is Australia’s first charity, working as a catalyst for social justice and change for over 200 years. The Benevolent Society advocates for a better life for all Australians and provides quality services in the areas of Family