CANNING Vale resident Naomi Lorkin’s experience in high school watching her friends suffer through mental health issues and bullying prompted her to do something about it.
Ms Lorkin went to school in Narrogin and said throughout her time there there was not a strong support program for those who were bullied or suffering mental health concerns.
“We were really just told to suck it up and deal with it ourselves,” she said.
“I think I tried to help the best I could at the time, but didn’t really know where to turn.
“I think that it is something I actually sought out to better myself in that area since leaving high school.”
She said when she came to Perth after school in 2009 she began volunteering with youth groups, learning how to mentor young people.
The 24-year-old has since found a fulltime role working with headspace Armadale and now works as the community engagement officer, delivering workshops and presentations about mental health and engaging with young people.
Ms Lorkin said the biggest achievement since being at headspace was running high school workshops.
“I have spoken to more than 5000 young people and ran 85 workshops getting the message out there that everyone can be a help in the past 18 months,” she said.
“You don’t have to be an expert to support a friend, you can just be a listening ear to point you in the right direction,” she said.
She said she works in the southeast corridor but the majority of the workshops were in the Armadale area.
Ms Lorkin has been nominated for the School Drug Education and Road Aware Health and Wellbeing Award, one of eight categories in the Western Australian Young Achiever Awards.
Finalists will be presented and winners announced at an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner at Pan Pacific Perth on May 12.