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Success and wellbeing: A preview of the Australia 21 report on young people's wellbeing
by Richard Eckersley Ani Wierenga and Johanna Wyn

Australia 21, a non-profit research company, and the Australian Youth Research Centre carried out a crossdisciplinary project to better understand the points of convergence and divergence in the commentaries and evidence on young people's wellbeing.

The results suggest a need for a greater focus in both research and policy on the 'big picture' of the broad social changes reshaping life today – total health and wellbeing, not just ill health; the whole population of youth, not only the marginalised and at-risk; and the social and cultural resources that are as important to wellbeing as material and economic resources.

This article is a summary of edited excerpts from the report.

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Where to from here? Guiding for mental health for young people with complex needs
by Andrew Bruun & Christopher Hynan

Experienced practitioners in the youth sector have always realised that a young person’s general health and wellbeing can be influenced positively by effective, client-centred, relationship-based practice. Here, the authors use the analogy of ‘practitioner as guide’ to focus on one critical aspect of this kind of work. They demonstrate how the practitioner as guide can be instrumental in building the capacity of young people with complex needs to maximise their mental health potential.

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Being true to oneself: The role of authenticity in promoting youth mental health
by William Hallam, Craig Olsson, Glenn Bowes & John Toumbourou

Young people are growing up in a society that teaches them that feeling good is the main game. It also teaches them that to feel good, you need, at least, material wealth, beauty, sex and education. This is despite research that shows that hedonistic people are less happy. The authors of this paper suggest that perhaps we need to teach children that selfindulgence and pleasure are not, in fact, virtues, or even necessary for happiness. Self worth and a sense of meaning may be more related to a commitment to generative social values than to hedonic values of self-interest.

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Self-help support groups: Adding to the toolbox of mental health care options for young men
by Ann Dadich

Interviews conducted with 28 young men who had experienced a mental health issue revealed that selfhelp support groups offered participants emotional and practical support; information on mental health matters; the opportunity to relate to the mental health experiences of others; inspiration and hope; strong social networks; and a reminder of the importance of self-care in the management of mental health issues.

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Health & wellbeing: How do young people see these concepts?
by Gary Easthope & Rob White

Through a qualitative thematic analysis of interviews with 73 school-age young people in Tasmania the authors demonstrate that social relationships are central to a feeling of wellbeing among participants. The young people interviewed accept the public health message that they are individually responsible for their health through lifestyle choices, especially food choices, but their responses indicate that social relationships are crucial influences on health behaviour, both positively and negatively.

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The Cool Teens CD-ROM: A multimedia self-help program for adolescents with anxiety
by Mike Cunningham, Ronald Rapee and Heidi Lyneham

The Cool Teens CD-ROM has been developed as a selfhelp treatment option for young people with anxiety. It is a home-based cognitive behavioural therapy program that helps users to develop skills to cope better with the negative feelings associated with anxiety, such as fear, worry, nervousness or shyness. It has been designed for 14- to 18-year-olds and uses a combination of media (text, audio, illustrations, cartoons and live video) to deliver information, examples, activities and exercises. The program is being evaluated for its ability to reduce the symptoms and life interference caused by anxiety.

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Youth initiatives
edventures WA:
creating life opportunities for young people

The National Illicit Drug Strategy Community Partnerships Initiative is a Department of Health & Ageing initiative that provides funding to community organisations to prevent the uptake of illicit drugs. This short article describes Edventures WA Inc., a project that aims to promote positive life choices and reduce illicit substance use for young people living Perth and Victoria Park.

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