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New report looks at education for young people with ongoing health problems


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The Victoria Institute has just released a report about the future of education for young people who live with significant health problems; it is based on a national database of more than 2,300 young people with such health issues.

Young Australians, illness and education provides an overview of the ‘education, health and demographic information’ of these young people in this country, and its main purpose is to provide an evidence base and starting point for policy recommendations and further research in this area. There are no Australian Government figures available for this educational cohort.

Because of advances in healthcare in recent years, many more young people are surviving their illnesses and going on to attend school and educational facilities. The Australian education system is now having to cope with a large number of young people with chronic health conditions who may not be sufficiently supported in their education.

The researchers point out that for young people with ongoing health problems education is just as important as it is for other students. They also say that these young people (and their parents) can face ‘significant communication difficulties' with schools, including bullying and problems in connecting socially.

A set of ten recommendations includes identifying students with ongoing medical conditions as a ‘collective educational cohort’, the publishing of government policy and guidelines about what can reasonably be expected as educational outcomes for this cohort, and undertaking further research.

Download the report here.

The Victoria Institute is situated within Victoria University. Find out more about the work of The Victoria Institute, which works to achieve better educational outcomes for diverse and disadvantaged students, here.

Source: CFCA News, 3 June 1015.)

Tickets available now for Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation dinner


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The Take Kare Gala Dinner will raise money for the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and will be held on 16 September in Sydney; all funds raised will go towards schemes to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence, particularly among young people.

There are many fundraising events held within the youth sector each year, but this one has a special resonance for us here at YFX. The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation was established after the death of teenager Thomas Kelly in a Sydney street in 2012. Thomas was fatally punched by a random stranger who had been drinking, and his family had to switch off his life support after being told there was no hope of recovery for him. The Foundation now works with the community to change attitudes towards alcohol and bring about a more responsible drinking culture.

Find out more about the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation here.

Book tickets for the Take Kare Gala Dinner here.

Source:email from, 4 June 2023

Mental health in the ACT from a youth perspective


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According to a new report launched by the Youth Coalition of the ACT, young people in that state are keen to receive more education about mental health, want more timely responses to these issues and need service providers to improve their knowledge of mental health issues.

Mental health: Perspectives of young people aged 12­–25 in the ACT summarises the views of young people about mental health issues from consultations held between October 2014 and February 2023. The two main reasons behind the research were to try and understand why young people regularly rate mental health issues high on their list of concerns; and to find out what young people think is needed to address these issues.

The principle recommendations from the report were:

  • Mental health education needs to be embedded in school teaching from a young age in order to promote positive mental health practices, and programs to reduce stigma around mental health issues need to be carried out.
  • Young people would like teachers to be trained in recognising and supporting young people with mental health issues; employers and doctors were also pinpointed by young people as key groups that need to be able to respond to youth mental health issues.
  • Barriers such as waiting times for mental health treatment need to be addressed, and the mental health system needs ‘multiple modes of delivery’ to enable young people to access information and support.

This is a short report (only 15 pages) but is important in that it presents the solutions to problems as young people themselves perceive them. It could be useful in informing policy guidelines for mental health treatments of young people not just in the ACT but across Australia.

Access the report here.

Source: Youth Coalition of the ACT newsletter, 3 June 2023.

New apps from ReachOut lighten the load


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The youth mental health online resource ReachOut has just released two new apps designed to help young people better cope with stress and anxiety in their lives.

Both apps can be used by young people to help reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by slowing down the heart rate in order to help induce a feeling of calmness. The iPhone version also measures heart rates for users.

WorryTime works by guiding users to set aside a specific time of the day to use as ‘worry time’ and encouraging them to not fret about their problems all day.

WorryTime and ReachOut Breathe can be accessed for free from the ReachOut website.

Source:ARACY eBulletin, 12 June 2023

Youth mental health: Teens urged to take action to improve their wellbeing


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A campaign just launched by youth mental health not-for-profit beyondblue encourages young people to take action if they are suffering from anxiety or depression.

‘Brains can have a mind of their own’ is the title of this new major campaign from beyondblue, which also aims to reduce the incidence of youth suicide, now the principal cause of death for young Australians. The campaign uses a ‘quirky’ brain character to get the message across that young people should seek help and also use the beyondblue website if they are suffering the symptoms of depression or anxiety. The campaign will take the form of ads that will be gradually rolled out on social media, websites and apps.

The ad campaign coincides with the results of a beyondblue survey that found that four out of five young people may not seek support for depression or anxiety because they are worried about what others might think of them. The survey garnered the views of 600 teens aged 13 to 17, and also found that around 40% of young people thought their peers might not seek support because they believe nothing could help them.

The chairman of beyondblue, the Hon Jeff Kennett AC, said: ‘This campaign aims to show teenagers that experiencing depression or anxiety doesn’t mean they are weak or weird, it simply means that their mind is giving them a hard time, but there’s something they can do about it’. The campaign incorporates a quiz that can be completed by young people suffering from anxiety or depression; it will assess their mental health and provide advice on the best steps to take.

Find out more about the campaign from the youthbeyondblue website.

Source:beyondblue website, viewed 17 June 2023.

New website focuses on eating disorders


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The National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC), an initiative of the federal Department of Health and Ageing, has created a new internet resource packed full of useful information for people experiencing eating disorders and their family, friends and carers.

The website provides information and useful contacts relating to various disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder, which can develop at any life stage, but very often emerge in childhood and adolescence. 

Click here to access the Eating Disorders Info website. Further information and resources for young people about eating disorders can also be found on the NEDC website.

Source:Young and Well CRC Update, 3 June 2023.

Still time to join the new Orygen youth advisory groups!


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Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, has announced the development of a Youth Engagement and Participation program, and is looking for young people to be part of two new advisory groups that will help inform this program.

Applications for participation in the advisory groups close on 6 July, so there is still time to submit your expression of interest. Orygen is looking for young people aged 17 to 25 with a lived experience of mental ill health to form a new Youth Advisory Council and a new Youth Research Council. Young people who fit these criteria, and who are keen to advocate for the promotion of good mental health strategies for young people, are encouraged to apply. Keen researchers in this field are also asked to apply. Expenses will be reimbursed.

The Youth Advisory Council will be made up of a group of eight young people from across Australia who will meet six times a year to provide advice to Orygen’s Youth Engagement Program. The Youth Research Council will similarly be made up of eight young people who will provide input to Orygen’s research staff.

For more, go to the Orygen website.

Source:email from Orygen, 17 June 2023.

The effect of viewing porn on young men’s health


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An article in a recent issue of Education Week draws attention to the ongoing effects that young men are suffering from watching porn on a regular basis

More young men under the age of 24 are apparently reporting erectile health issues because they have been psychologically desensitised by watching a lot of porn, and have lost the ability to be aroused by normal young women when it comes to real-life relationships.

 The article is by Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, CEO and founder of the Top Blokes Foundation, a youth-led organisation that empowers young men aged 14–24 to ‘ignite their inner-top bloke and reach their full potential’ via mentoring, training and civic engagement programs. ​

Read the full article here.

Source:Education Week, 18 June 2023.