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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.