Mental health

The news and events below come from the ACYS news feed and Youth Field Xpress, our monthly newsletter, and the ACYS calendar.

Current news

Telstra will stop billing young people up to $100 to use Kids Helpline

A spokesman from Telstra told The Sunday Telegraph the company would stop the charges to the 1800 number from mobile phones. The cost would be covered by Telstra's $250 million support fund for underprivileged customers. Original article  

22 Mar 2012


Anxiety Online

Anxiety Online is an online assessment and online treatment program for people 18 years and older. ReachOut Pro provides information and reviews of the service. Original article  

20 Mar 2012


headspace evidence maps

This resource from headspace provides published studies (controlled trials and systematic reviews) of treatment and prevention strategies for mental health and substance use problems in young people. Original article  

16 Mar 2012


‘Men react more aggressively to stress’ … sure, but you’re missing the point

New research shows the causes for why men react to stress differently than women.  Original article  

16 Mar 2012


Children Of Parents with a Mental Illness information sheet

Children Of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) have prepared an information sheet for to help young people who have parents with a mental illness that they are not alone.  It includes advice from other young people on how to cope.  Original article  

15 Mar 2012


National education program to address mental health issues in high schools

A $500,000 grant from nib foundation will enable the Black Dog Institute to train 1,500 high school teachers in the innovative HeadStrong program over the next three years, helping to reach 90,000 students, with a particular focus on rural and remote locations. Original article  

13 Mar 2012


McGorry guides police on youth

Victorian Police says it is working with psychiatrist Patrick McGorry, a key witness at the inquest into the fatal police shooting of teenager Tyler Cassidy, to improve training on how to communicate with vulnerable youth. Original article

07 Mar 2012


Mental health - round up of recent news

The topic of young people's mental health has been featured in a number of recent news and research reports.  Read more  

06 Mar 2012


Nominations open for the Positive Body Image Awards

The Awards will recognise the positive steps taken by the media and entertainment, fashion and advertising industries to adopt the principles outlined in the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image. Nominations are open until 23 March. Original article  

02 Mar 2012


Report finds students not disclosing mental illnesses

The ABC Radio's The World Today reports on NCVER research showing that struggling students are frequently not seeking the help they need. Original article  

29 Feb 2012


“How will you BITE BACK in 2012” competition for young people

The Black Dog Institute is running a competition through their Bite Back website for young people aged 12 - 18 to find out the positive steps they are taking in 2012 to get the most out of life. Entries close 19 March. Original article  

28 Feb 2012


The unmet need in mental health services for children and young people in care

The findings from the 2011 South Australian Guardian’s Office audit of 60 case files from five Families SA offices to understand the extent and nature of unmet need in mental health services for children and young people in care. Original article  

28 Feb 2012


Post Evaluation of Clinical Practice Guidelines: Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults

beyondblue invites health professionals, school counsellors, and young people who have experienced depression, including their family and friends, to participate in a national online evaluation study to assess awareness and current use of the new and established Clinical Guidelines for the treatment and management of depression in adolescents and young adults. Original article (Scroll to the bottom of the linked page for further information.)  

27 Feb 2012


'Massive obsession' SBS Insight program

This episode of Insight, airing 28 February, looks into the pressures put on young men to achieve the perfect muscular form.  Original article  

27 Feb 2012


Facebook linked to poor body image for teenage girls

A study of 1100 teenage girls in Australia run by Flinders University’s psychologist Dr Amy Slater, found that more than 40 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with their weight. Original article  

24 Feb 2012


Unfinished business: student perspectives on disclosure of mental illness and success in VET

This report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research explores the factors that contribute to successful course completion for students with a mental illness, with a particular focus on the role of disclosure. Original article  

22 Feb 2012


Children neglected in NSW mental healthcare law

The NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People has criticised the NSW government for failing to identify children as a special group which the new Mental Health Commission needs to take into account. Original article

20 Feb 2012


Melbourne parents with teens invited to participate in groundbreaking research

Researchers at the University of Melbourne are calling on families from the Melbourne metropolitan area to help them find long term ways to help teenagers better cope with physical and mental stresses. Original article  

20 Feb 2012


Psychological distress in Indigenous adolescents

A review of community surveys just published in the Medical Journal of Australia did not find any difference in rates of self-reported psychological distress between Indigenous and non-Indigenous adolescents. Original article  

08 Feb 2012


Early signs of psychosis in young people

Generation Next provides a list of early warning signs for young people with psychotic illness.  Original article  

30 Jan 2012


Therapy online: anxiety treatment for a digital generation

A recent report outlines how a change in the delivery of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – from face-to-face treatment to interactive web-based delivery – might result in more young people engaging with the intervention, a reduction in costs, and subsequently an increase in reach. Original article  

27 Jan 2012


A New Ten Year Plan for Mental Health

The draft Ten-Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform has been released for public consultation. Original article  

20 Jan 2012


New national mental health consumer organisation

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler announced the establishment of a new Consumer Reference Group which will assist in setting the directions of the new organisation and setting up mechanisms to involve consumers from the beginning. The Group will be appointed following a national call for Expressions of Interest in early January 2012. Original article  

14 Dec 2011


Push for students to study mental health

A mental health service is calling for a revamp of the school curriculum to include mental health studies, in a bid to help prevent children from developing mental illnesses. Original article  

12 Dec 2011


Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre launched

The Young and Well CRC was officially launched today (9 December) by Senator The Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. The Young and Well CRC is an Australian-based, international research centre that unites young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators from over 70 partner organisations to explore the role of technology in young people's lives, and how those technologies can be used to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Original article


09 Dec 2011


Online therapy helps those with depression

Dr Lou Farrer, from the Australian National University’s Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR), looked at two online therapy programs, MoodGym and BluePages. Original article  

05 Dec 2011


Marie Claire 'Shine a light on depression'

Marie Claire has launched a campaign to raise awareness of depression in young women.  Original article  

01 Dec 2011


Round-up from Youth Health 2011: It's totally important!

A number of presenters and attendees have posted presentations and comments about the recent Youth Health 2011: It's totally important! conference held recently in Sydney. Read more...  

25 Nov 2011


One in 12 teens self harm

In the first study of its kind, Australian researchers followed about 2000 Victorian students from age 15 to see how many self-harmed during adolescence and into their 20s. Original article

18 Nov 2011


E-alert for youth depression

Australian researchers will for the first time harness e-technology to develop a customised internet program to identify and arm healthy young people most at risk of depression before the disorder takes hold. Original article  

17 Nov 2011


Australian Youth Forum - new survey

Mental Health Barriers to Participation - The AYF wants to hear about education, training and employment of young people living with a mental illness.  Original article  

16 Nov 2011


Stress survey: To be young is to be troubled

A study of 1500 Australians has found that one in eight adults has severe stress, with those aged 18 to 25 more stressed and depressed than any other age group. Original article  

15 Nov 2011


Map of headspace centres around the country

The headspace website has a map and directory of its services across the country.  Original article  

14 Nov 2011


New Mental Health App for Young Men to be Trialled

The Work Out app was developed independently by the Inspire Foundation and the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute to encourage help seeking by young men who are often reluctant to seek help for their mental health. Original article  

11 Nov 2011


Mental health help needed for young offenders

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is calling for better mental health services for children and adolescents in the criminal justice system as young offenders are in critical need of mental health assistance. Original article  

10 Nov 2011


Australian Youth Forum - new topic

The AYF would like to know how young people feel about participation in education, training and employment by those who live with mental illness. Original article  

08 Nov 2011


Advocacy Education Program for Young People is running two programs called ReachOut to an MP (ROMP) and ReachOut Speakers Bureau that aim to to advocate for better services for young people and help raise awareness of among politicians and the media. Original article  

04 Nov 2011


E-Counselling service kicks of 24 hour coverage

Run by headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, eheadspace is a confidential, free and secure space where a young person can call,web chat or email with a qualified youth mental health professional. Original article  

02 Nov 2011


Perceptions and experiences of cannabis use by young adults living with a mental illness

This paper recently published in the Australian Social Policy Journal seeks to enhance understanding of the perceived and experienced links between cannabis use and mental health by young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years who are living with a mental illness. Original article  

31 Oct 2011


Mental health issues rising for young people

The number of complex mental health issues reported to Kids Helpline counsellors has escalated, raising concerns for the health and wellbeing of Australia’s young people. Original article  

21 Oct 2011


Vulnerable young people to get better access to mental health services

Young people in out-of-home care in Victoria will have priority access to mental health services under the new Chief Psychiatrist’s Guideline. Original article  

10 Oct 2011


headspace: Create a Better Story campaign

In time for Mental Health week, headspace is encouraging young people to share and listen to stories to help other young people who may be going through a similar experience. Original article  

10 Oct 2011


SMILES for youth starts Mental Health Month

Mission Australia is kicking off Mental Health Month with a new program to help young people on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales cope with family mental health issues. Original article  

05 Oct 2011


A prospective study of diet quality and mental health in adolescents

An unhealthy diet can be the cause of mental health problems in adolescents, a new study has found. Original article  

27 Sep 2011


World Health Organization report finds that mental health is a top concern of young people

The report highlights that disability, particularly due to mental health disorders and drug and alcohol problems, are a big problem for adolescents around the world. Original article  

22 Sep 2011


R U OK Day changes a life

ABC's The World Today features a story about how R U OK Day can change people's lives for the better. Original article  

19 Sep 2011


Number of children on anti-depressants concerns

The Timaru Herald reports on the increasing number of children and young people who are being prescribed anti-depressants in New Zealand.  Original article   

15 Sep 2011


Youth service short of GPs

West Australia Today reports that the youth mental health service headspace - part of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's flagship health reforms - is struggling to attract GPs, who are essential for it to expand its services. Original article

09 Sep 2011


National Summit on the Mental Health of Tertiary Students papers & presentations

Papers and presentations from the National Summit on the Mental Health of Tertiary Students, held in Melbourne in August 2011, are now available for download. Original article  

01 Sep 2011


Investing in the psychological wealth of young people

A study of the ‘You Can Do It! Education’ program finds that teaching young students to be resilient and organised will help them cope with stress better as they mature. Original article


26 Aug 2011


New website for the YAW-CRC

The recently established Cooperative Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing (YAW-CRC) has a new website, which provides useful background to the reasons why it was set up, and will enable researchers, youth workers and policymakers to have access to its research output. Original article


19 Aug 2011


Study links depression to childhood abuse

Researchers who conducted a combined analysis of 26 studies involving more than 23,000 people found that those who suffered maltreatment as children were twice as likely as those who had normal childhoods to develop persistent and recurrent depression. Original article  

17 Aug 2011


Mental health program boosts NAPLAN

The KidsMatter program has shown to have a positive effect on literacy and numeracy scores.  Original article  

17 Aug 2011


Pregnancy loss linked to depression in young men

Young men whose partners have had an abortion or miscarriage are twice as likely to develop depression than those whose partners have never been pregnant, a new study has found. Original article  

11 Aug 2011


Facebook Increases Teen, Adolescent Likelihood For Mental Illness

According to a presentation at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, teens and adolescents who use social networks might be at risk for various mental health problems. Original article  

10 Aug 2011


Mental health issues among students to escalate

The Australian reports on the likely increase in mental health issues among the student population as universities attract more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Original article  

10 Aug 2011


New headspace factsheets

headspace have published fact sheets on bipolar disorder and supporting a young person after a natural disaster.  Original article  

10 Aug 2011 new section: Get Involved

This section of the ReachOut website provides young people with the opportunity to become involved in the ReachOut community.  Original article  

05 Aug 2011


Supporting a friend: New TINO information

Information from Tune In Not Out for young people who want to help a friend who need support.  Original article  

02 Aug 2011


Engaging Indigenous men in rural mental health services research

A recent paper, titled What you do is important but how you do it is more important, describes the methodology and steps followed by a non-Indigenous researcher for engaging with men from an Aboriginal community in rural Victoria in conducting mental health services research. Original article  

02 Aug 2011


New Bite Back blog

Bite Back, the youth website from the Black Dog Institute, have launched a new blog to talk about what's happening there. Original article  

14 Jul 2011


For young men it's hard to be soft

ABC Radio's PM Program reports on a campaign to help young men tackle the mental health issues they face as they mature.  Original article    

13 Jul 2011


StigmaWatch Survey

SANE Australia are currently conducting a StigmaWatch Survey, which asks for respondents' thoughts on the representation of mental illness in the media. All submissions are anonymous. Results will be released later this year. Original article


11 Jul 2011


Out of the shed: Men, boys and mental health

A forum on men's and boys' mental health issues will be held 21 & 22 July.  Original article  

06 Jul 2011


Review finds limited evidence for early intervention in psychosis

The Conversation reports that early intervention mental health policies may be gaining favour in Australia, Europe and the U.S. but there is limited evidence to show they help sufferers of psychosis in the longer term, a major literature review has found. Original article  

30 Jun 2011


Bite Back's 'Best Day Ever' competition

This competition encourages young people to share their best memories and celebrate the good times. Submissions close 4 July. Original article  

30 Jun 2011


Keeping the child in mind: child protection practice and parental mental health

A report from South Australia's Department of Families and Communities on the association between a parent's mental health and child abuse and neglect.  Orginal article  

29 Jun 2011


'HeadStrong' resource for educators and youth workers

From the Black Dog Institute, this curriculum resource makes it easy to understand, implement, and teach about mood disorders and the impact they can have on young people. Original article  

21 Jun 2011


Mental Health Matters Awards (NSW)

The Mental Health Matters Awards are unique awards designed to recognise the achievements of individuals and organisations who have worked to improve understanding, awareness, service provision and the general mental health of their community, over the past 12 months. Original article  

15 Jun 2011


Mental health disabling young people

Mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia are the leading cause of disability among young people, a new international study has revealed. Original article  

10 Jun 2011


High risks: cannabis and psychosis

The ABC’s The Drum reports that both the Mental Health Review Tribunal in NSW and the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre have said publicly that if cannabis was removed from the chemistry of young brains, the incidence of schizophrenia in this country would be dramatically reduced. Original article  

09 Jun 2011


Adolescent mental health: depression, suicidality & cyber-bullying webinar recording

Recordings from the Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) webinar ‘Adolescent mental health: depression, suicidality and cyber-bullying’ are now available for viewing on MHPN’s website. Original article  

08 Jun 2011


Australian Youth Forum new topic: National Mental Health Reform

The Australian Youth Forum (AYF) has asked young people to weigh in on the National Mental Health Reform. Original article  

03 Jun 2011


Breaking down barriers - Parliamentary inquiry

Obstacles blocking access to education, training and employment opportunities for those with mental health issues will be the focus of a new parliamentary inquiry. Original article  

01 Jun 2011


Anger Management Skills for Kids

A new book for educators, youth workers and counsellors covering anger management techniques for teens. Original article  

31 May 2011


Cognitive-Behavioural Case Management in Early Psychosis: A Handbook

Available from Orygen Youth Health, this Handbook is a practical guide to implementing cognitive-behavioural case management (CBCM) for young people with early psychosis. Original article  

27 May 2011


Places and spaces: the many faces of mental health, Youth Health Forum

8 June 2011, Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health, Westmead Hospital NSW. Original article  

24 May 2011


Study links anxiety & depression to risk taking in young drivers

Young drivers who experience anxiety and depression are more likely to take risks on the road, according to a new study by Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Original article  

19 May 2011


Obese kids at risk of adult depression

The West Australian reports that overweight children are 50 per cent more likely to suffer mood disorders such as depression as young adults, an Australian study has shown. Original article  

12 May 2011


headspace factsheets in 10 languages

headspace has published factsheets in ten different languages to help parents and carers to better understand what their child or children may expect when visiting a headspace centre. Original article  

11 May 2011


Report of the Inquiry into the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in Western Australia

The Inquiry explored the range of complex interactions between a child or young person and their family, their community and their social, physical, cultural and economic environments, being cognisant that all these interactions impact on mental health and wellbeing in some way. Original article  

11 May 2011


Getting the happiness formula right in the classroom

An article from Lea Waters, Director, Master in School Leadership at University of Melbourne, on the role that schools play in the mental wellbeing of young people. Original article  

09 May 2011


Justice system fails offenders

The West Australian reports that the Commissioner for Children and Young People's inquiry said those appearing before the Children's Court should get better access to mental health assessment and treatment. Original article  

09 May 2011


Young at risk over mental health

An article in the West Australian reports on an inquiry finding four in five WA children with a severe mental disorder are missing out on critical help. Original article  

09 May 2011


RUOK? Day campaign workshop

RUOK? Day is a day set aside for all Australians to ask a mate ‘RUOK?.' has teamed with RUOK? Day to work with school students in the design and delivery of a RUOK? Day campaign. Successful applicants will be flown to Sydney for an all-expenses-paid three-day workshop. Original article


20 Apr 2011


Youth mental health & jobs - ABC Life Matters

ABC's Life Matters discusses a federal parliamentary inquiry is examining the barriers that exist in education and the workplace for young people with a mental illness. Original article  

13 Apr 2011


Website offers hope to carers of people with bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder affects about two in 100 adults and onset is often in adolescence with peak onset in early to mid twenties. Original article  

05 Apr 2011 Back to [High] School Appeal

The Back to [High] School appeal will send a support kit to high schools to help young people who need a hand getting through difficult times. Original article  

24 Mar 2011


Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent & Family Mental Health Association (AICAFMHA) position paper

AICAFMHA has published a Position Paper describing the associations' stance on the promotion of mental health and associated services for children and families, and summarising the international and national literature on the delivery of mental health services. Original article  

16 Mar 2011


Lifeline Caller Profile Booklet

This booklet provides an analysis of a sample call data in 2008/2009 and highlights a number of serious crisis support issues that are addressed by this service. Original article  

16 Mar 2011


How to change a life - rural mental health support for young people

The ACB's Bush Telegraph recently travelled to Canberra for the Heywire youth forum where young people spoke out on the changes needed to make their life worth living in rural, regional and remote Australia. Original article  

11 Mar 2011


What are the major drivers of prevalent disability burden in young Australians?

An article in the Medical Journal of Australia reports on the nature and conditions of disability among adolescents and young people in Australia. Original article  

10 Mar 2011


Researchers develop standardised model for treating child anxiety & depression

Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health have developed a standardised model of therapist competencies for treating children and adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders. Original article  

10 Mar 2011


Breaking down barriers - Parliamentary inquiry

Obstacles blocking access to education, training and employment opportunities for those with mental health issues will be the focus of a new parliamentary inquiry, which will also highlight the need to improve collaboration and coordination between government and service providers, as well as strategies to improve community, carer and employer capacity. Original article


07 Mar 2011


Perceived barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking in young people: a systematic review

A report from Biomedcentral looks into the reasons why adolescents and young adults tend not to seek help when experiencing mental health problems. readmore...  

23 Feb 2011 Stealth Campaign: Do you accept the challenge?, Australia’s leading online mental health service for young people, launched the Stealth Mission, challenging young people around Australia to get creative, get active and get stealthy to compete for a prize pack.  

16 Feb 2011


Cannabis treatment by post

A pilot study, by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC), of a treatment program for cannabis dependence, which is delivered by post, has shown promising results:  

11 Feb 2011


Youth mental health first aid: a description of the program & an initial evaluation

From the International Journal for Mental Health Systems, this article discusses the Youth Mental Health First Aid Program, launched in Australia in 2007.  

03 Feb 2011


Girls who are bullied are at risk for substance use through depression

A new study reveals that adolescent girls may engage in substance use as a result of bullying-related depression.  

21 Jan 2011


Australian research into teen depression

A new study looks at optimism and how it can affect the onset of depression in early adolescence:  

17 Jan 2011


Resources to assist flood-affected youth

The Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network has released new resources for young people directly impacted by the Queensland floods; these include the Red Cross ‘After the emergency’ website.

Other general flood resources:


14 Jan 2011


What families need to know about adolescent depression

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has just published an updated and expanded edition of this guide to accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options for teenagers experiencing depression.


21 Dec 2010


Multi-million Co-operative Research Centre announced to improve the wellbeing of young Australians

The federal government has announced a cash investment of $27m towards the establishment of a Co-operative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing, led by the Inspire Foundation.  

09 Dec 2010


eheadspace: online support and counselling

headpace has launched a 24-7 online support and counselling service for Western Australia.  

03 Dec 2010


Mental illness running high among uni students

A report from the ABC states that 'researchers have found mental illness among Australian university students is five times higher than in the general population.'  

27 Nov 2010


Teen stress doubles risk of depression in adulthood

An article in the UK's Telegraph on a study evaluating the stress of children living in families where at least one parent is affected by a mood disorder.  

15 Nov 2010


Upcoming events

6th Oct 2011

Association of Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSW) Conference
Location: Eltham
Type: Conference, seminar

6th May 2012

Child and Youth Mental Health Matters
Location: Vancouver
Type: Conference, seminar

21st Aug 2012

TheMHS Conference
Location: Cairns
Type: Conference, seminar

Evaluation report of the Youth Justice Liaison and Diversion Pilot Scheme

This report from the UK looks at the provision of healthcare within the youth justice system, and the results of a pilot program to identify and meet a range of health and developmental issues. Original article

22 Mar 2012

Telstra will stop billing young people up to $100 to use Kids Helpline

A spokesman from Telstra told The Sunday Telegraph the company would stop the charges to the 1800 number from mobile phones. The cost would be covered by Telstra's $250 million support fund for underprivileged customers. Original article

22 Mar 2012

LIFE newsletter

The recent issue of the LIFE (Living Is For Everyone) newsletter features commentary from Chris Tanti, CEO of headspace, on 'Young people, the internet and suicide risk'.  Original article

22 Mar 2012

Youth Week 2012 calendar of events

The Youth Week website has an events calendar listing events that have been planned so far for this year's Youth Week. Events can be added and the calendar sorted by location.  Original article

22 Mar 2012

Young leaders pave the way for constitutional change

You Me Unity reports on a forum organised by the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern and supported by Reconciliation Australia that brought together 76 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for four days, representing all Australian states and territories. Original article

21 Mar 2012

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